5-year-old girl handcuffed by Florida police

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

St. Petersburg, Florida police were taped on video handcuffing a five-year-old kindergarten student who had earlier torn papers off a bulletin board and punched an assistant principal. The camera happened to be filming on March 14 as part of a classroom self-improvement exercise at Fairmount Park Elementary. Video of the event has been released by a lawyer for the child's mother.

The little girl had already calmed down from her tantrum by the time of arrival of the police, but they cuffed her anyway. Police had been called when a phone call to mother Inga Akins, had led teachers to believe that it would take an hour for Ms Akins to arrive and take the girl away.

The video reportedly shows three officers pin the passive girl's arms behind her back and put on handcuffs, as she screams, "No!"

Attorney for the mother, John Trevena, called the incident "incomprehensible". He provided the tape to the media this week, after obtaining it from police.

"The image itself will be seared into people's minds when you have three police officers bending a child over a table and forcibly handcuffing her," said Mr Trevena.

Police planned to investigate the incident and make public the findings in around two weeks.


  • Includes streaming video:
BBC News. "US police handcuff five-year-old" — BBC, April 23, 2005