A video has captured the moment police told a young boy – who reportedly has special needs – he was going to jail and tried to handcuff him during an arrest.
In the footage from a Florida school, officers ask the child, who his lawyers say was eight-years-old at the time, to stand up and put his hands behind his back.
One of them tries to put handcuffs on the boy, but his wrists are too small for them.
“You understand this is very serious, OK?” one officer says. “I hate that you put me in this position and I have to do this.”
“You made a mistake and now it is time to learn from it and grow from it,” he says.
Lawyer Ben Crump shared the footage on social media, claiming police had “used ‘scared straight’ tactics on an eight-year-old boy with special needs”.
At the start of the video, a policeman can be heard saying: “You know where you’re going. You’re going to jail.”
“You’re going to the jail, so you need to stand up and put your hands behind your back,” another one adds.
The incident happened in late 2018, according to an incident report seen by The Independent.
Mr Crump shared a statement saying he would represent the family of the 8-year-old who was arrested by Key West Police Department in Florida.
The child was arrested and charged with battery, Mr Crump said.
The lawyer has also worked on the case of George Floyd, a black man who died in the US after a officer knelt on his knee for minutes and whose death sparked global protests against racism and police brutality.
An incident report showed the boy in the video was taken into custody after punching a teacher in the chest.
“If convicted, the child in this case would have been a convicted felon at eight years old,” Mr Crump said. “This little boy was failed by everyone who played a part in this horrific incident.”
Mr Crump said he would file a lawsuit with another lawyer against the officers.
Key West Police Department spokesperson told The Independent: “We cannot comment due to ongoing litigation.”