Breaking News Emails
Michigan police are apologizing for handcuffing a 7-year-old boy at his elementary school last month.
The incident happened on October 12 at Brownell STEM Academy’s after-school program, which is run by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. Chrystal McCadden, the mother of 7-year-old Cameron McCadden, said she got a call from the school to pick up her son. When she arrived, his wrists were bound.
Flint police said in a statement Friday that the student “appeared intent on injuring himself” and was handcuffed to prevent injury to himself and other students.
“The officer used handcuffs to restrain the child to prevent injury to the child or others,” the statement said.
But McCadden said the details on why her son was handcuffed remain unclear. She told NBC News told that Cameron has ADHD and didn't deserve to be handcuffed. She recorded video of her son with his hands cuffed behind his back when she got to the school.
“He’s hyper. I’ve gotten these calls about (him) being hyper before. But he is not a violent kid,” she said. “I’m still trying to get answers.”
McCadden said when she asked her son what happened, he said he kicked a cart.
When McCadden requested the handcuffs be removed, she was told by the officer that he didn’t have a key.
“You put my son if handcuffs and you didn’t have the key. He wasn’t in here with a gun or knife,” she said. “There was no other action you could do?”
Flint Police Chief James Tolbert said Friday that he has apologized for the incident.
“I have apologized to the mother for this situation and assured her that we will protect the integrity of this investigation and will be transparent in our findings. It is our model to engage children in a positive light that will foster trust and respect, this incident does not reflect positively on that model,” Chief Tolbert said.
Police have scheduled training for all officers in de-escalation tactics geared toward children.
The incident in Flint is the latest in a string of confrontations between officers and students at schools. Last week, a South Carolina school resource officer was fired after flipping an 18-year-old student in her chair.
In August, an 8-year old Kentucky boy with ADHD was handcuffed at school by a Kenton County Sheriff's Deputy after failing to obey his teacher.
Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab told NBC station WEYI that the district is working with police to get to the bottom of the incident.
"The Flint Police Department is conducting a full review of the situation so we can get the facts,” he said.
The Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce said on their Facebook page that they hope measures are taken to prevent a similar incident in the future.
“We do not condone any physical interaction with our students and are glad to see that the police department is conducting an investigation,” the statement said.