Newly released video shows police officers in Maryland viciously berating a 5-year-old boy, calling him a “little beast,” encouraging his mom to beat him, and screaming in his face as he cries after the child allegedly hit a teacher and walked away from school.
The body camera footage released Friday by the Montgomery County Police Department shows two officers collaring the child on a street and forcefully putting him in the back of a squad car while telling him he’s going to get physically punished.
Video of the incident, which took place in January 2020, was recently released publicly after an investigation into the matter was completed, the department said.
“Does your mama spank you? They need to spank you today,” one officer tells the child.
“I would have been beaten nine times before I got home,” the other officer says as the child cries. “Don’t nobody want to hear that, ain’t nobody listening.“
The child was taken back to East Silver Spring Elementary School and into an office, where the officers continued to berate and threaten the child, according to the video.
“I hope your momma let me beat you,” one of the officers tells him.
Eight minutes into the video, as the child sits crying in an office chair, one of the officers leans down and begins screaming in his face, apparently in an attempt to quiet him. She also calls him a “horrible little beast.”
When the child’s mother arrives, the officers sit down and encourage her to hit him as punishment, saying: “We want you to beat him.” One of the officers later pulls out a pair of handcuffs and places them on the child, in what appears to be an attempt to frighten him.
“If somebody tells you to sit down and shut up, any adult, you better sit down and shut up,” he tells the boy.
The boy’s mother has sued the department, NBC News reports.
The police department said it had launched an internal investigation into the matter after receiving a complaint about the officers’ conduct. The findings of the investigation are being kept confidential, and both officers remain employed. The department said it would not provide any further comment due to pending litigation.
The Montgomery County School Board’s president and superintendent have condemned the actions seen in the video, describing the footage as “extremely difficult to watch.”
“There is no excuse for adults to ever speak to or threaten a child in this way,” President Brenda Wolff and Superintendent Jack Smith 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.“
Both Wolff and Smith said they are unable to provide further comment due to pending litigation.