KEY WEST, Fla. - Newly-released body camera video from the Key West Police Department shows an 8-year-old boy being taken into custody after allegedly punching a teacher in the chest. The boy's family has since announced they will seek legal action.
According to WSVN, the incident took place on December 14, 2018. Officers were seen searching the boy before trying to place handcuffs on him. At one point, one officer is heard saying the handcuffs were too big for the child, who was 3'5 tall and weighed 65 pounds at the time.
“Do you know where you’re going? You’re going to jail,” one of the officers is heard saying in the video.
Since the handcuffs were too big, the officers walked the boy outside.
“This is very serious, OK? I hate that you put me in this position that I have to do this,” the officer is heard saying. “The thing about it is, you made a mistake, and now it’s time to learn from it and grow from it, right? Not repeat the same mistake again, OK?”
The boy was booked with a felony battery charge.
The teacher involved was reportedly scolding the boy for not sitting properly during lunch. The incident and video went viral Monday after Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney, shared the video on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Crump said the boy is a special needs student and didn't pose a threat to anyone, WSVN reports. He said he was placed with a substitute teacher who “had no awareness or concern about his needs and who escalated the situation by using her hands to forcibly move him.”
Crump is representing the boy's mother and plans to file a lawsuit against the Key West Police Department and Monroe County School District.
The Key West police chief recently defended his officers, insisting they did not do anything wrong and followed standard operating procedures.
The school district declined to comment, citing the possible pending legal action.