Latonya Eason was seeking legal guidance at an attorney’s office in Senatobia, just south of Memphis, on Aug. 10 when an officer informed her that he had caught her son Quantavious urinating behind her vehicle.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘Son, why did you do that?'” “He said to me, ‘Mom, my sister said they don’t have a bathroom there,'” Eason recalled.
“I was like, ‘You knew better; you should have come in and asked if they had a restroom.'”
She said the officer told her Quantavious could get back into the vehicle and that he would issue a warning.
Still, many more officers arrived, including a lieutenant who declared the youngster needed to be transported to prison.
“No, him urinating in the parking lot was not right, but I handled it like a parent, and for one officer to tell my baby to get back in the car as if everything was fine and for the other to pull up and take him to jail.” “Like, no,” Eason said to WHBQ.
“I’m at a loss for words right now.” “Why would you arrest a 10-year-old child?” the enraged mother said.
Quantavious said that he was terrified as the officer swooped down on him.
“I began to cry a little.” They drove me down there and helped me get out of the vehicle. “I had no idea what was going on,” he told the newspaper. “I get scared and shake, thinking I’m going to jail.”
The youngster, who was not handcuffed throughout the encounter, said he was detained in a cell before being released to his mother.
According to Eason, he was charged with a kid needing assistance.
“That could be very traumatic for my baby.” “My baby might get to the point where he doesn’t want to interact with the police at all,” she told the publication.
Eason shared a picture of her kid in the back seat of a police cruiser on Facebook.
Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler issued a lengthy statement in which he highlighted the state’s Youth Court Act, which he claimed permits law enforcement to make referrals against children as young as 7 if they are “in need of supervision” or 10 “if they commit acts that would be illegal for an adult.”
“Several factors, including the availability of reasonable alternatives, determine the need to transport children away from a scene.” “In this case, an officer witnessed a 10-year-old child commit an act in public that would have been illegal for an adult in these circumstances,” he wrote.
According to the senior policeman, the officer did not spot a parent at the site.
“The mother was located shortly after that at a nearby business, and she was advised that her child was going to receive a Youth Court Referral for this matter,” he wrote.
However, Chandler admitted that “under these circumstances, it was an error in judgment for us to transport the child to the police station as a reasonable alternative because the mother was present at the time.”
“Mistakes like this serve as a reminder in this profession of the ongoing need for training and refreshers on the various topics we encounter daily,” he said.