Friday, October 24, 2014
Appeals court finds officers violated civil rights of "calm child" they cuffed for disobeying teacher
An en banc 9th Cir. recently ruled that two Sonora, Calif. PD officers used excessive force when they handcuffed an 11-year-old who hadn't followed his teacher's instructions during recess, reports Education Week's Mark Walsh. Worried that the child might run off, the school called police when the boy didn't respond to the physical education teacher's attempt to get him back inside the school. The responding officers placed the cuffed boy in the back of the police car and took him to his guardian. According to the court:
It is beyond dispute that handcuffing a small, calm child who is surrounded by numerous adults, who complies with all of the officers' instructions, and who is, by an officer's own account, unlikely to flee, was completely unnecessary and excessively intrusive.
The court found, however, that the officers were immune from allegations that they'd violated the child's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizures.