ACLU Speaks Out Against Arrest, Handcuffing of Young Children at Baltimore High School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org The following can be attributed to Sonia Kumar, an attorney with the ACLU of Maryland’s Juvenile Justice Project, who is available for media interviews: “The actions of Baltimore City police in arresting and handcuffing eight and nine year old children at school are appalling, and also in plain violation of state regulations regarding school arrests. Police are now defending their actions by referencing allegations against the children, but there is simply no evidence to support BPD’s claim that it was necessary to handcuff eight- and nine-year-old children at school for an incident that had occurred nine days earlier off school grounds. Regardless of whether or not it was appropriate to treat the fight between children as a criminal justice matter, the view that an eight or nine year old child should be treated as ‘any felony suspect’ reflects a profound lack of perspective and the law’s longstanding distinction between young children and adults. We owe it to our children to be able to teach them the difference between right and wrong without using handcuffs.”

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