A police department in Maryland has released body camera video that captured two of its officers berating a 5-year-old boy who had walked away from his elementary school, calling him a “little beast” and threatening him with a beating.
The video released by the Montgomery county police department shows one of the officers repeatedly screaming at the crying child, with her face inches from his.
“Oh, my God, I’d beat him so bad,” the officer said in the child’s presence before telling him, “You do not embarrass me like this at school.”
The Washington Post reports that the police department and the county’s public school system declined to address the incident in detail, citing a pending lawsuit from the boy’s mother.
“There is no excuse for adults to ever speak to, or threaten, a child in this way,” the school system said in a statement. “As parents and grandparents, we know that when families send their children to school, they expect that the staff will care for them, keep them safe and use appropriate intervention processes when needed.”
A police department spokeswoman told the newspaper that the two officers in the video remain employed by the department after an internal investigation.
The officers found the boy about one block from East Silver Spring elementary school and drove him back to the school, where they were met by a school administrator. The video shows an officer forcing the crying child onto a chair in the principal’s office.
“Shut that noise up now!” the other officer shouted near the boy’s face. “I hope your momma let me beat you.”
One of the officers pulled out his handcuffs and closed one of loops around the child’s right wrist.
“You know what these are for?” he asked the boy. “These are for people that don’t want to listen and don’t know how to act.”
Montgomery county council member Will Jawando said the video “made me sick”.
“We all saw a little boy be mocked, degraded, put in the seat of a police car, screamed at from the top of an adult police officer’s lungs, inches from his face. This is violence,” Jawando said.