WASHINGTON — Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine released a statement Friday, defending the innocence of a 10-year-old boy who was handcuffed by police during a robbery investigation. The incident was caught on camera and widely circulated on social media.
The child’s mother spoke with WUSA9, demanding answers from officials, and saying her son had done nothing wrong but was treated like a common adult criminal.
Friday in his statement, Racine said he agreed the boy was innocent. He said the boy was incorrectly identified as being involved in the incident by officers. The whole ordeal was triggered by a teen who was robbed at gunpoint by three other young men in Northeast D.C.
Several kids were detained last Saturday after police said they assaulted and robbed another young boy in Northeast. Around 4 p.m. Saturday, D.C. police responded to the 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue for the report of a robbery. The victim, a young boy, told police he was approached by other juveniles who beat him up and took his phone, according to the police report.
Several young boys were stopped by police in the area shortly after the reported incident, including Chaquitta Williams’ two children. Her 10-year-old son was seen on viral cell phone video being handcuffed by officers.
“It just destroyed him the whole night,” said Williams, who said her 10-year-old son was walking home from Union Station with his 14-year-old brother and a few friends Saturday when the incident occurred.
“It was hurting me. There were so many people out there, I didn't know what to do. My mind was just blown from the situation," she recalled. "I see my son on the ground with three police around him at just 10-years-old."
People who were nearby when the arrest took place were upset by what was happening as the child was handcuffed and led away – something audible in the video.
Racine also said in his release that police acted in accordance with department policy during the arrest.
Friday night, the ACLU of DC and Black Lives Matter held a protest outside the First District police station.
EDITOR'S NOTE: WUSA9 has blurred the face of the 10-year-old in all iterations of the viral video since first covering the story earlier this week, with permission from his family. We chose to do so to protect his identity and because he is a juvenile.