8-year-old detained by police in New York
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSTM) - A video of an 8-year-old child being led to a police car in tears has gone viral.
It is now the focus of an internal review by police, who said the child was not handcuffed, arrested or charged, but authorities said they are still reviewing body camera video from all three officers and from a nearby surveillance camera.
Kenneth Jackson saw police leading the boy to a patrol car and felt compelled to start recording.
“I felt his terror and decided to intervene,” he said.
In the video, Jackson accuses the police of detaining the boy over a bag of chips. He feels police did not handle the situation properly.
“There’s a way that the police need to interact with kids, and what they did that day was completely unacceptable,” he said.
Policing expert Dr. Keith Taylor said that after seeing the video himself, he thinks police did what they are supposed to do.
They detained the child, put him in the back of the car and drove him home to his family.
“You don’t see any inappropriate use of force by the officers. They’re simply doing their job,” he said.
The video shows Jackson yelling at the officers to let the boy go and officers raising their voices at Jackson, saying he does not know what is happening.
Jackson said he wishes he would have handled the interaction with officers a bit differently.
“Maybe I could’ve toned down my dialect, the profanity, things of that nature. Those things I could’ve done,” he said.
Taylor said that while many times a community member wants to protect any young person being detained, he said in this case, police were doing their job.
“Officers will wait for their supervisor to respond. If the supervisor is delayed, and they’re sitting and waiting there, meanwhile, the community is getting more people, and they’re getting more and more outraged and they’re feeling their own concern,” he said.
Taylor said the focus of the story has now changed.
“The focus seems to be on a bag of chips and not on the concerns of the store owners, the potential pattern and the child himself,” he said.
Ben Walsh, the mayor of Syracuse, said the officers knew the child from prior interactions. He said the officer explained to the child that he would be taken home.
The officers are still on duty.
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