After 9-year-old boy handcuffed, DC police policies under review

An incident between a 9-year-old boy and police who told him to stop leaning on a car ended with the child in handcuffs on Monday. Now, D.C.’s attorney general is reviewing how officers interact with children.

Attorney General Karl Racine characterized video of the crying, hysterical, handcuffed boy as “obviously concerning” in a statement Wednesday.

Officers were in the area on routine patrol when the incident happened, said D.C. police spokesman Sean Hickman in an emailed statement Wednesday. The 9-year-old was not charged with any crimes, he added.

“As with all use of force incidents, this is currently under internal investigation,” Hickman said.

Racine said that his office, the mayor and police chief have agreed on a course of action.

First, a survey will be made of how other departments across the country handle interactions with children. Once best practices are identified, they’ll be compared with the D.C. police’s policies and training, and Racine’s office will make recommendations for adjustments, if needed.

Racine recently determined that officers followed existing policy when handcuffing a 10-year-old boy, who was a robbery suspect, in a separate incident last month.

There’s no indication of how long the policy review will take to complete.

“We look forward to working together with MPD and the mayor’s office to ensure District children are treated with the highest level of care and safety,” Racine said.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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