Just when you thought you’ve seen everything…
Administrators at Fairmount Park Elementary in her St. Petersburg, Fla., had a 5 year-old girl arrested for doing what many 5 year-olds do – having a tantrum. What’s different about this case is that most of the action just so happed to be caught on videotape.
According to 10News, the child wound up in handcuffs and leg restraints, which Police say was an appropriate response. The state’s attorney apparently disagreed and refused to prosecute the five year old. ABC News quotes the attorney for the family of the girl:
“The police officers’ actions are way over the top. Three police officers having to forcibly handcuff a 5-year-old little girl? I mean, come on,” said John Trevena, the family’s attorney. “Is there anything more that needs to be said about that?”
He was also critical of the actions of Dibenedetto and Tsaousis, who he said could have done more to calm the girl.
“I’m concerned that the educators shadowed and hovered around the young girl,” he said. “It certainly gives credence to the argument that they may have been provoking her to act out more. To me, it didn’t look like a de-escalation. It looked like an escalation, an attempt to get her to act out more. I just don’t understand why they didn’t distance themselves back further and allow things to cool off.”If you watch the video you’ll hear this quote from one of the three officers who “Do you remember me?” one of them asks the girl. “I’m the one who told your mom I’d put handcuffs on you.”
I watched through all of the video tapes, and a much as I want to give the benefit of the doubt to the school, there’s nothing on the tape that warrants the police treatment, in fact there’s nothing on the tape that warrants police presence. The initial outburst occurs before the first tape starts, but as the parent of two stubborn 3 1/2 year old boys there wasn’t anything on those tapes I’d never seen before, which I imagine is true for many of you as well.
What do you think?