7-Year-Old Boy Handcuffed for 10 Hours Over $5, Mom Sues for $250M
One Bronx police officer made the poor decision to handcuff a seven-year-old child in a dispute over $5, according to the child’s family. Officers hauled a terrified Reyes out of class, handcuffed him like a hardened criminal, and “interrogated” him for 10 hours.
Reyes’ mother, Frances Mendez, snapped the chilling photo (left) of the boy with her cell phone. “Imagine how I felt seeing my son in handcuffs!’’ she said. “It was horrible. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” Mendez said she is now terrified of the police as well. “My son was crying, ‘Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’ I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized.” The dispute occurred when $5 fell in front of Reyes and two other boys, and Reyes was accused of picking it up. Reyes scuffled with a classmate for falsely accusing him and that’s when officers charged at him over the incident.
Mendez has slapped NYPD and NYC with a $250 million claim. “Reyes was handcuffed and verbally, physically and emotionally abused, intimidated, humiliated, embarrassed and defamed,” the documents say. He was then charged with robbery. The legal papers say another classmate later admitted the theft. The city’s Law Department dropped the robbery charge against Reyes on Dec. 26. Inspector Kim Royster said yesterday the story was “grossly untrue in many respects, including fabrication as to how long the child was held in the precinct which was less than half of the time mentioned.”
In 2011, dozens of four- and five-year-old students were suspended. The data shows that minorities and kids with special needs were more often the targets of discipline. Black kids served 53% of the suspensions while they represent just 28% of the city’s students. In total, 69% of suspensions went to boys, though they make up 51% of the student populations.In addition, students with disabilities make up just 12% of the student population but serve 32% of the suspensions.
Should NYC and NYPD pay for arresting Reyes?
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