8-year-old handcuffed: An 8-year-old girl in Illinois was handcuffed by a police officer and carted off to the local police department after she threw a tantrum.
The young girl was handcuffed and taken into custody by a police officer after she had a tantrum at school.
School officials at Lovejoy Elementary in Alton, Ill., said they stand by the decision to handcuff the girl, Jmyha Rickman, during the incident on Tuesday. School officials said that the move was a last resort after the girl swung at a school resource official and ransacked two classrooms, according to KSDK television in St. Louis.
Rickman, who is in behavior disorder classes, was held at the Alton Police Department after being taken in the back of a police squad bar, reported the Alton Telegraph.
Rickman’s guardian, Nehemiah Keeton, said he is not sending her back to the school.
“I’m not sending her back,” he said. “If she stays here [at home], at least I know she will be safe. This is unacceptable; she woke up with nightmares.”
He said Keeton, who he has taken care of since she was two weeks old, was placed in a specific class due to behavior issues. “The officer should have known this,” he said, adding that when the child had outbursts in the past, the school would call him and he would pick her up.
“Her eyes were swollen from her crying and her wrists had welts on them,” Keeton elaborated, according to KMOV television. “They cuffed her feet too and she asked to use the restroom several times and was ignored.”
Keeton said that Rickman is autistic, suffers from depression, and also suffers from separation anxiety.
Police, however, said that some of the family’s claims were not true, according to KMOV. They said the girl, who weighs around 70 pounds, was placed in a juvenile detention room with supervision.
The school also insisted that it is rare for them to get police officers involved.
Police Capt. Scott Waldrup, who heads the Alton Police Department, said the “officers used great caution and reserve in determining using restraint,” according to the Telegraph.
“It was absolutely necessary to protect the children and others. This has happened before, although this child is a little young,” he said.
Waldrup said that in the case of Rickman, “it was necessary to protect that child by restraining that child,” according to KSDK.
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