An officer involved in the arrest of a 10-year-old boy in a small Mississippi town is “no longer employed,” and the boy’s mother says he remains traumatized by the incident.
“He’s not coping with it well,” Latonya Eason said of her son, Quantavious Eason. She told theGrio that before attending a recent football game with her son, he told her he didn’t want to go because “”These policemen, they might take me to jail.’”
The Senatobia Police Department incident is yet another example of police admitting they overstepped and offering an apology or regrets that don’t erase the trauma of the incident.
In Michigan, a white police offer handcuffed 12-year-old Tashawn Bernard outside his Lansing home as cops were looking for a suspect in a series of car thefts. Police said Tashawn was in the “wrong place (at the) wrong time.” Police in Syracuse, New York, pulled an 8-year-old Black boy, suspected in a theft, by his hoodie and ordered him off his bike. Florida police handcuffed a 6-year-old girl for acting out in class.
The Mississippi incident has also left Latonya Eason scarred.
“I’m burnt out mentally and physically,” she said. “I don’t have energy and haven’t been getting any sleep. It’s been terrible.”
On Aug. 10, officers arrested her son, Quantavious, after he urinated behind his mother’s car. While the officers said they did not immediately see his mother in the area, they located her at a nearby business. Police told her they would take her son to the police station to process paperwork for a youth court referral, according to a statement by police.
The officers transported the boy to the police station and released him in the care of his mother. After the incident, Police Chief Richard Chandler, in a statement, called taking the boy to the police station “an error in judgment.”
Chandler’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
In the latest police statement, released on Aug. 21, the police department said it investigated an “internal complaint” related to the incident.
“The officer’s decisions violated our written policy and went against our prior training on how to deal with these situations,” the statement said. “As a result of this investigation, one of the officers involved is no longer employed, and others will be disciplined.”
For his part, Quantavious Eason still carries the scars of his experience.
Latonya Eason recalled an incident where she pulled up to a four-way stop, and an officer pulled up next to her. Her son became frightened.
“He started shaking and kind of crying like he was nervous,” she said. Her son asked, “‘Are they going to take me to jail?’ I had to keep convincing him he wasn’t going to jail.”
The release also said Latonya Eason had been taken into custody for an outstanding warrant by the Tate County Sheriff’s office. She said the warrant involves unpaid fines.
Senatobia, located 40 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee, is the county seat of Tate County.
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