“I hope your mama let me beat you,” a Maryland police officer can be heard saying in newly released body camera footage. The officer was talking to a five-year-old child and was one of two Montgomery County police officers involved in the incident that had the child in handcuffs at one point. According to a report by The Huffington Post, the five-year-old allegedly hit a teacher and walked out of school in January 2020 when police officers put the boy in the back of their patrol vehicle and threatened and berated him. The footage was released following the conclusion of an investigation. “Does your mama spank you? They need to spank you today,” one of the officers says to the child. “I would have been beaten nine times before I got home,” the other says while the boy cries. “Don’t nobody want to hear that, ain’t nobody listening,” an officer can be heard saying. The five-year-old was taken back to East Silver Spring Elementary School when officers brought him into an office where they continued to yell at the child. “I hope your momma let me beat you,” one of the officers says. At one point, an officer leans into the child’s face and calls him a “horrible little beast.” The child’s mother arrived at the school and officers encouraged her to physically punish the boy. “We want you to beat him,” one of them tells her. Later, one of the officers pulls out handcuffs and puts them on the child, in what looks to be a scare tactic. “If somebody tells you to sit down and shut up, any adult, you better sit down and shut up,” the officer says to the boy. The footage spans a 50-minute time period. Montgomery County Council member Will Jawando tweeted his reaction to the incident which he described as “a nightmare.” “It made me sick,” he wrote.
The boy’s mom has filed a lawsuit against the police department, public school department and Montgomery County, NBC News reported. Activists have called for the officers to be fired or suspended. In an open letter, several community organizations wrote, "The incident made national news, but over a year later, it has not been fully addressed. This delay in accountability is unjustifiable and unacceptable."