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Police Handcuff Little Girl, 9, Over Fight With Another Young Girl

Thu, May 8, 2014 10:45am EDT by Lauren Cox 4 Comments
Portland Police Arrest Little Girl
Courtesy of Courtland Police Bureau/KOIN6

Portland Police sparked outrage after they handcuffed a little girl, 9, and brought her in for mugshots and fingerprints. The young girl was reportedly involved in a fist fight with two other children, but has since had to change schools because of teasing over her ‘arrest.’

Latoya Harris is outraged after witnessing her 9-year-old daughter be arrested and charged with 4th degree assault over a silly fight outside the Boys & Girls Club in Portland, Oregon in April 2013.

Police Spark Outrage By Arresting Girl, 9

Two police officers in Portland, Oregon crossed the line when they handcuffed a 9-year-old girl outside of her home in May 2013.

The little girl was then put into the back of a police car and brought to the local station to have mugshots and fingerprints put on file. Her mother, Latoya Harris, was told by the arresting officers that she was not allowed to ride in the back of the police car with her daughter. Instead, the terrified little girl was forced to ride alone to the station, according to Daily Mail.

Latoya’s daughter was investigated by police after being involved in a fist fight with two other girls her age outside of their local Boys & Girls Club. The club’s staff broke up the fight and had the girls apologize to each other, and later told police that they did not find any obvious injuries on any of the girls involved.

One of the girls’ mothers called police to report the fight, claiming that Latoya’s daughter bashed the girl’s head against a brick wall. Six days later, police showed up at Latoya’s house to question her daughter, and when they were unsatisfied with the little girl’s responses, they decided to handcuff her and bring her in for booking.

The girl was detained for over an hour at the police station, and photographed for her mugshots while wearing only a blue and white bathing suit and flip-flops.

After word of the humiliating arrest spread, the little girl was a victim of bullying and teasing in her elementary school. This prompted her mother’s decision to switch her daughter into a different school.

Mother’s Outrage Sparks Police Review

Now that Latoya has been very vocal about her outrage over her daughter’s arrest, the two police officers involved are reportedly under review.

Latoya claims that before arresting her daughter, they berated her and continuously asked her for the “real” story.

After speaking to the Citizen’s Review Committee about her daughter’s arrest, police officers Matthew Huspek and David McCarthy are now under review for their decision to arrest a little girl.

The review has also sparked a proposed change in police protocol for children under the age of 10. Now, unless the offense is a class A or B felony, a court order will be required before a police officer can take a child under 10 years old into custody.

There is no word on when these new laws will go into effect.

— Lauren Cox

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