After a 10-year-old Black girl was handcuffed and detained by police for drawing a picture of her bully, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii intervened. According to reports, in January of 2020, the youngster, designated in legal records as “N.B.,” drew a sketch of her alleged aggressor.
According to a lawyer representing the girl’s family, the bully’s dad saw the artwork and “was quite outraged and essentially demanded” that Honowai Elementary School administration call the cops. Officers from the Honolulu Police Department arrived at the school to handcuff N.B., who has been diagnosed with ADHD, in front of her classmates.
Without a parent present, the youngster was transported to the police station, held, and interrogated by cops.
Tamara Taylor, her mother, wrote to school administrators after the event, “I was taken of my rights as a parent, and my daughter was stripped of her right of protection and representation as a child.” Taylor was also unlawfully imprisoned, according to the ACLU.
She went on to say, “There was no awareness of diversity, African American culture, or the presence of police contact with African-American adolescents.”
N.B. was eventually freed to her mother after no charges were filed against her. The ACLU is now seeking $500,000 in damages on behalf of the youngster and her mother, according to The Hill. The group also wants the school, the Department of Education, and the police department to implement new procedures.
“Without probable cause, HPD (Honolulu Police Department) handcuffed N.B. and took him to the police station,” the organization noted in a letter. “… On that day, the actions of HPD officers and DOE (Department of Education) staff not only constituted false arrest and imprisonment in violation of Ms. Taylor’s and N.B.’s right to be free from unreasonable seizures and excessive force, but they were also grossly negligent and violated Ms. Taylor’s and N.B.’s equal protection and civil rights…”
Wookie Kim, the ACLU of Hawaii’s Legal Director, told Hawaii News Now that the incident was “simply straight-up wrong” and that “nothing condones or justifies that.” N.B. transferred schools immediately after the incident, according to the ACLU.
“These occurrences have traumatized my daughter and I, and we are certain that we have no future at Honowai Elementary,” Taylor stated in her letter. “It saddens me to know that this day will be remembered by [N.B.] for the rest of his life.”