Video emerges of Key West police trying to handcuff an 8-year-old boy

FLKeys News | by David Goodhue | August 10, 2020

A video emerged Monday from a 2018 incident showing police officers in Key West trying to handcuff a crying 8-year-old boy after an incident at his elementary school.

According to the arrest report from the Dec. 14, 2018, case, police were called to his school, Gerald Adams Elementary, after he punched a teacher in the chest. Officers arrested the child, who was not named in the report because of his age, on a felony battery charge.

The status of the case was not immediately known.

The video was posted on the Twitter account of Tallahassee attorney Ben Crump. It was not immediately clear if the video is discovery in a civil case against the Key West Police Department.

Crump’s office did not immediately return telephone and emailed messages for comment.

Key West Police Chief Sean T. Brandenburg said in a statement Monday that his officers did not do anything wrong.

“Based on the report, standard operating procedures were followed,” he said.

Key West police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said she does not know how the video was released.

The footage shows two Key West police officers talking to the boy, who is sobbing, telling him he’s “going to jail.”

Another officer, who is not shown, is also talking to the boy. The video came from his body camera.

One officer places the boy against a filing cabinet and frisks him before taking out his metal handcuffs. As he puts the cuffs on him, the other officer shown on gthe video says something about the cuffs probably not going to fit. The officer not seen says, “I don’t think so, either.”

The other officer then says, “Then you can justify [unintelligible], as he looks into the body camera appearing to disagree with his colleagues about cuffing the boy.

The officer trying to cuff the boy is unsuccessful, so he tells him to keep his hands in front to him as they walk him outside the school.

Before leaving the building, the officer who tried cuffing the boy, says: “You understand this is very serious, OK? I have that you had to put me into this position to do this. The thing about it is, you made a mistake. Now it’s time for you to learn about it and to grow from it, not repeat the same mistake again.”

Officers then booked the boy into the juvenile justice facility in Key West.

According to the arrest report, the boy’s teacher said the boy was not sitting properly in his cafeteria bench seat. The teacher asked him several times to sit down out of concerns for his safety.

After not complying, the teacher asked him to sit next to her. He refused and told her, “Don’t put your hands on me.”

She then told the boy to walk with her. As he did, he told her, “My mom is going to beat your a–,” and then he punched her with his right hand, according to the report.

Officer Michael Malgrat wrote in his report that he was in the school’s administrative office when the teacher and the boy arrived. Malgrat wrote in his report that the boy “had his hands clenched in fists and he was postures as if he was ready to fight.”

Photo: A still shot of a Key West Police Department officer’s body camera footage shows another officer attempting to handcuff an 8-year-old boy at his elementary school on Dec. 14, 2018. BEN CRUMP

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