Policeman handcuffed two disabled children

A Kentucky sheriff has defended a deputy officer who restrained two disabled elementary schoolchildren by using handcuffs, last autumn. The sheriff says the deputy did nothing wrong.

Policeman handcuffed two disabled children

“Covington Schools’ personnel requested assistance from the police during school hours, after school administrators’ efforts to defuse a threat to others had proven unsuccessful,” Kenton County Sheriff, Chuck Korzenborn, said a day after a lawsuit, against Kevin Sumner, a Kenton County deputy sheriff and school resource officer, was filed in federal court.

“Deputy Sumner responded to the call and did what he is sworn to do and in conformity with all constitutional and law enforcement standards.”

According to the lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Children’s Law Centre, and law firm, Dinsmore & Shohl, in US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on Monday, Sumner restrained the eight-year-old boy once and nine-year-old girl twice, in three separate incidents, shackling their arms behind their backs and causing them pain and emotional trauma.

A video released by the ACLU shows an officer, identified as Sumner, shackling the boy, identified as SR in the lawsuit, with handcuffs clasped around his biceps. This was in the vice-principal’s office at the school.

“You don’t get to swing at me like that,” Sumner can be heard telling the crying third-grader as he is handcuffed. “You can do what we ask you to or you can suffer the consequences.”

An unidentified member of the school’s staff videotaped the November 13, 2014, incident, the ACLU said.

According to the lawsuit, the boy, who had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was restrained by Sumner for 15 minutes.

When the boy’s parents arrived at the school to take him home, Sumner allegedly told them he would “return to the school with his handcuffs if [the boy] did not behave.”

The boy’s parents say he experienced physical pain, anxiety and “significant emotional stress” as a result of being shackled.

The suit alleges that Sumner used the same shackling tactic on the nine-year-old girl, identified as L.G, on two occasions in October, 2014. The fourth-grader has been diagnosed with ADHD.

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