A burly Kentucky deputy whose job was to keep elementary kids in line placed an 8-year-old boy in handcuffs for misbehaving, telling the boy he needed to comply with his demands or “suffer the consequences” as the boy screams out in pain, telling the deputy, “Oh, God! Ow, that hurts!”.
But Kenton County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Sumner didn’t care, tightening the cuffs around the boy’s biceps because at 3 feet 6 inches and 52 pounds, the cuffs were just too large for the kid, who spent 15 minutes handcuffed and sitting in a corner, crying and kicking his legs in a heartbreaking video that led to a lawsuit.
The boy has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder and was in a special needs class along with a 9-year-old girl, who was also handcuffed around her bicep’s to ensure she did not slip out of the handcuffs and maybe cause the deputy to fear for his life.
The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit and posted the videos, said it was a classic example of the “school to prison pipeline,” one of the driving forces in this country’s economy, which has the highest incarceration rate of any industrialized nation in the world.
It is a fact that most people don’t want to talk about, but this is a video people will definitely be talking about.
The main question should be, why does an elementary school have an armed deputy on duty during school hours, who seems to take pleasure in torturing children?
Or four deputies for that matter, which the Latonio Elementary School had contracted as school resource officers, according to the lawsuit.
The second question should be, why are these deputies not following the regulations established by the Kentucky Board of Education in 2013 that forbids school resource officers from handcuffing children? A rule established after a government study determined 20 children died nationwide between 1990 and 2009 after being handcuffed.
And the third question should be, haven’t we had enough of the police abuse? Or is it going to take cops to start shooting disruptive kids in class before citizens begin demanding serious reform?
The boy in the incident, who is referred to as S.R. in the lawsuit, had been sent to the vice principal’s office for just that, an experience that many of us have gone through, especially those of us who were restless and free spirited and did not fare well in an institutionalized setting.
Once in the office, the boy became even more restless and tried to leave, but was blocked from leaving by administrators. The boy then asked to go to the bathroom, but they would not let him until they spoke to his mother, who said that perhaps they should let him use the restroom.
When he returns from the bathroom, deputy Sumner is in the office and begins issuing commands, which the boy refused to obey. At one point, somebody in the office begins video recording.
As Sumner is handcuffing the crying boy, he tells him, “you don’t get to swing at me like that,” exerting his godlike status that was handed to him along with the badge and the gun at the expense of taxpayers.
The incident took place in November 2014, but the deputy did not write a report until months later, stating that the boy, “swung his arms and attempted to strike me with his elbow” but that he managed to block the strike with his hand.