WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Officials in D.C. on Saturday addressed an incident that sparked outrage in the District and beyond – the handcuffing of a 10-year-old child during an armed robbery investigation.
The incident occurred Saturday, March 30 near Union Station.
D.C. police were investigating the case of another child whose cell phone was reportedly stolen at gunpoint.
Investigators have since determined that the 10-year-old they handcuffed and detained during the investigation had nothing to do with the robbery.
Police Chief Peter Newsham said that in some cases it’s important to have the option of restraining children.
“It’s really hard to have a hard and fast policy in regards to age and handcuffing. Anyone who’s worked in this business can tell you, you can have a child who has emotional issues who becomes very violent. For their own safety is may be necessary to restrain them,” he said.
Newsham added that the officers “probably could have used better judgment” during the incident near Union Station. He noted that police will try to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis going forward.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said she’s concerned that cellphone video of the incident became public, and that a child’s privacy may have been violated.
“I think people mean well, in thinking that they’re going to record something, but I think, in this case, the bystander video did something that we would never be able to do by releasing video of a juvenile,” she said.
Bowser and Newsham noted that they have not reached out to the family of the 10-year-old.