Police Handcuff 6-Year-Old Girl for Tantrum
Police were called to Creekside Elementary School after 6-year-old Salecia Johnson went on an uncontrollable fit at the principal’s office. The inconsolable child injured the principal after knocking over a shelf, along with tearing items off the wall and tossing furniture. The police report stated that the responding officer tried to console the child, and when all else failed, Salecia was handcuffed.
The kindergartner was then taken to the police station and charged with assault and damage to property.
“A 6-year-old in kindergarten, they don’t have business calling the police and handcuffing my child,” Earnest Johnson, Salecia’s father angrily exclaimed.
“She has mood swings some days,” her mother, Constance Ruff added. “I guess that was just one of her bad days that day.”
Despite the controversial decision to handcuff the child, police chief Dray Swicord defended the officer. “Our policy is that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back,” he said. “There is no age discrimination on that rule.”
The girl’s aunt, Candace Ruff, said that Salecia was shaken up by the time they picked her up at the holding cell. “She said that the handcuffs were really tight, she said they really hurt her wrists,” she recounted.
Salecia has been released from the station and is now suspended for the remainder of the school year.
Was the outcome warranted or too harsh? Is there a reason for the increasing number of publicized tantrums (remember the 2-year-old toddler who got her family kicked off a plane?), or are we just becoming less accommodating?