March 31, 2021—The Montgomery County Young Democrats vehemently condemn the misconduct of the Montgomery County Police in the detainment and mistreatment of a 5-year-old African American boy from East Silver Spring Elementary School.
The January 2020 footage recently provided by the Montgomery County Police Department shows the officers handcuffing the boy, picking him up by his wrists and showing signs of force. Additionally, the officers used harsh language, screamed in his face, called him a “beast” and alluded that he was similar to a fictional murderous doll, even going as far as suggesting the child should be put in a crate.
Without question, the school administrators must also be harshly critiqued in their complicit acceptance of how the child was reprimanded. They went as far as cosigning with the officers on the most appropriate way to discipline the young child without “going to jail”. There is no reality where beating any child is appropriate.
This situation could have been and should have been de-escalated. It is unimaginable that a situation where an employee of an elementary school should have to request “MCPD officers’ assistance in addressing a five-year-old child who had left the school grounds and did not wish to return”, as reported by MCPD. With the poor history of police intervention and presence in schools, this tragic event is one more reason why we advocate for the removal of police from schools and request that policies related to school grounds should be reviewed to limit the involvement of armed police.
We, Montgomery County Young Democrats, call for the immediate removal of the officers and the school administrators involved in this event. In addition, we will continue to advocate for a review of school policies and procedures in favor of amicably de-escalating a situation. Our proposed solutions start with, but are not limited to the use of a school therapist, social worker, or instituting social wellness programs. We must not allow the system to continually fail our students.