Putting a Stop to Handcuffing Kids

POSTED April 12, 2021

On March 15, 2021, Colorado proposed a bill that would prohibit police officers from handcuffing elementary-age students.  Colorado proposed this idea when Chalkbeat, Colorado had reported at least 65 kids were put in handcuffs over the last two years. The purpose for this is so the resource officers can’t give the kids theft or violations unless the cost is more than $300.  If the kids were to be committing any criminal theft, property damage, gambling, or loitering the cost would have to be under $1,000 for the kids not to pay the fine. “No one should refer a child to law enforcement for normal youth behaviors,” says State Rep. Leslie Herod. The middle school and high schools aren’t involved with the handcuffing ban, because the sponsor hoped that the older kids would try and stay away from getting in trouble with the police. 

On February 2, 2021, in Rochester, New York a 9-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed.  The cops were called on a complaint about “family trouble” and the officers tried to restrain the girl while she was constantly crying and calling for her father. The officers were trying to get her into the back of the vehicle and when they couldn’t, they saw fit to pepper spray her. The little girl was brought to the hospital that same night and later she was released.  The cop that did the handcuffing and pepper-spraying was suspended on Monday, February 8, 2021.

Officers should not have to put elementary kids in handcuffs because they made a mistake and probably didn’t know what was happening.  For the higher-up students, I would understand if it has something to do with vandalism, drugs, or physical hitting but if it isn’t one of those then a kid should not be put in cuffs. 


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