Lawsuit alleges officers harassed and assaulted 5-year-old kindergartener

Two Maryland police officers have been accused of screaming at, grabbing and threatening a 5-year-old elementary school student.

Die seun se ma, Shanta Grant, filed a lawsuit this month against Montgomery County Police Officers Dionne Holliday and Kevin Christmonas well as Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Board of Education.
Die Montgomery County Department of Police told CNN it does not comment on ongoing or pending litigation. CNN was not able to reach Officer Holliday. Officer Christmon declined to comment to CNN.
The case comes amid public pressure for widespread change in policing policy following high-profile police encounterssome involving the treatment of children by law enforcement. The broader outcry has included calls to defund or abolish police departments.
    The Maryland complaint alleges that in January 2020 the kindergartener walked off the East Silver Spring Elementary School premises when hewas not being properly supervised.
    Officers were dispatched to the scene when school employees called police to help find him.
    Christmon was wearing a body camera, while Holliday was not, according to Grant’s attorney, Matthew Bennet, who obtained the footage from the incident. Bennett told CNN the video is not being released because it is not a matter of public record right now.
    The officers found the boy two-tenths of a mile away from the school and, after speaking to the boy for one minute, Christmonstarted to lose his patience” en “forcefully grabbedthe boy’s arm. Christmon continued to hold the boy’s arm as the boy started to cry, lui die klag.
    Die seun “was scared and did not want to get into the police car. Christmon grabbed (the boy) and placed him in the squad car,” die klag beweer. “This was extremely frightening to (the boy) because he thought he was going to be taken to jail.
    A school employee, believed to be assistant principal at East Silver Spring Elementary School, stood by and did nothing to de-escalate the situation, volgens die klag. The assistant principal is not a defendant in the lawsuit.
    Perhapsthe officers failed to consider that (the boy) was not a criminal, did not commit a crime and was disqualified under the law, because of his age, from committing a crime,” die klag sê. “They all completely disregarded the potential trauma that could arise from yelling at a 5-year-old child and placing him in a squad car.

    The crying intensifies at the school

    Once back at the school, the officers allegedly made statements to each other in front of the child, calling the boy bad and Holliday allegedly sayingthis is why people need to beat their kids.
    Christmon then forced the boy into a chair, causing hiscrying to intensify,” die klag beweer.
    The complaint says Holliday yelled at the boy toshut that noise up now!” and then got within inches of the boy’s face and “bygevoeg, ‘I hope your mama let (sic) me beat you.'
    Volgens die klag, this led the boyto believe that Holliday was about to cause him physical harm.
    Holliday thengot within inches of (the boy)’s face and then let out 5 primal screams with the purpose of terrorizing an already traumatized and upset child.
    Montgomery County Public Schools told CNN it was unable to comment on the incident at this time, given the pending litigation. The district shared a message from the East Silver Spring Elementary School’s principal that had been sent to the community last weekend.
    While I am unable to share specific details about this incident due to the pending lawsuit, I want to assure you that we are unwavering in our commitment to ensure that East Silver Spring Elementary School is a safe place where all students can learn, thrive and reach their highest potential,” the letter said in part.
    We follow all proper processes and procedures when responding to incidents involving our students and always have their safety and well-being as our top priority.
    The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 also told CNN it could not comment on the incident and doesn’t have details of the investigation since it is ongoing.
      Our members have fully cooperated in the investigation and gave their statements to internal investigators in August. They are awaiting its results and any recommended discipline from the police chief. We do agree with the feelings of the communityinternal investigations shouldn’t take a year to process. The FOP believes that justice and discipline should be served in a timely and fair fashion,” it said in a statement to CNN.
      CNN has reached out to the Montgomery County Executive office for comment.

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