Family Awarded $275K After Cops Handcuff And Berate 5-Year-Old Boy For Nearly An Hour

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After over two-and-a-half years, a family in Silver Spring, Maryland, has been awarded a $275,000 settlement and two Montgomery County police officers have been suspended without pay as a result of an incident involving a 5-year-old boy who fled his elementary school, The Washington Post reports.

In 2021, body cam footage was released of officers Kevin Christmon and Dionne Holliday verbally attacking and restraining the minor child. The incident happened on Jan. 14, 2020.

As Blavity previously reported, the 51-minute body camera footage involved a kindergartener at East Silver Spring Elementary School. The 5-year-old ran away from the school and an administrator then called the police to find the child. Once they found him and brought him back to school, both Christmon and Holliday repeatedly yelled at and insulted the young boy for running away.

The video begins with the officers finding the little boy in a neighborhood. Christmon approaches the young boy, questioning him about his actions. He then asked the small child, “Are you 18?” Seconds later, he grabs the boy’s wrist, and the boy begins to cry. As the officer puts him in the back of his cruiser, the boy cries, “I don’t want to go!”

“I don’t care!” Christmon shouts back. “You don’t make that decision for yourself.”

According to the footage, they shouted and insulted the young boy for running away.

“I don’t like bad children. Disrespectful children, I think they need to be beaten. I hope she beats you when you go home because you deserve it for your actions today. You were horrible,” Holliday say in the video.

The officers were then heard calling the child “shepherd for the devil” and “little beast,” according to The Washington Post.

The Post also notes that Christmon and Holliday were suspended for two weeks and four weeks, respectively, following the investigation.

Both officers defended their actions, with Christmon saying, “I really do think that my actions were appropriate at the time,” according to the Post. Christmon said his actions were justified considering the child “seemed defiant and headstrong about not wanting to return to school.”

The boy’s mother, Shanta Grant, was represented by Matthew Bennett and James Papirmeister, who said the officers treated her son “as if he were a hardened criminal,” according to the Associated Press.

It was “way past the line of emotional child abuse,” lawyers Matthew Bennett and James Papirmeister wrote in court filings, the Post reports.

The settlement money received by the family will be placed in a trust fund, which the child will be able to access when he turns 18.