Mississippi Officers Terminated, Facing Disciplinary Action After Arrest Of Black Child

Mississippi Officers Terminated, Facing Disciplinary Action After Arrest Of Black Child

A Mississippi police officer has been terminated after taking a 10-year-old Black child into custody for public urination, according to Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler. In a statement posted to Facebook, Chandler relayed the events of Aug. 10, when the former officer discovered the young boy urinating behind a vehicle. His mother, who was not present at the time and was at a nearby business, was informed that her son would receive a Youth Court Referral. The boy was then transported to the local police station and released into his mother’s care. 

The decision to take the child into custody sparked controversy across social media. In the statement, Chander responded to the backlash, saying, “Under these circumstances, it was an error in judgment for us to transport the child to the police station since the mother was present at that time as a reasonable alternative. Mistakes like this are a reminder in this profession as to the continual need for training and refreshers on the various topics that we encounter each day.”

The boy’s mother, Latonya Eason, spoke to CBS News outlet WREG about her dissatisfaction with the police chief’s response. “His apology is not good enough for me,” she said. Eason shared her recollection of events with FOX13 Memphis, saying she had been at a nearby attorney’s office when the officer notified her about her son. “I was like, son, why did you do that? He said, ‘Mom, my sister said they don’t have a bathroom there,’ I was like you knew better; you should have come and asked me if they had a restroom. He was like you handled it like a mom. He can get back in the car,” Eason shared. Though the child initially received a warning, the situation escalated as more officers arrived at the scene. This escalation eventually culminated in the child’s arrest. Upon arrival at the police station, he was kept in a holding cell while awaiting further action. 

“No, him urinating in the parking lot was not right, but at the same time, I handled it like a parent and for one officer to tell my baby to get back in the car it was OK and to have the other pull up and take him to jail. Like no,” Eason said. “I’m just speechless right now. Why would you arrest a 10-year-old kid?” 

The police officers involved in the incident are currently facing disciplinary action, and Eason has revealed that she will seek legal recourse.

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