CAIRO (AP) — Purported Islamic State group video threatens to kill Croatian hostage in Egypt in 48 hours.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The boy sat in a chair, the sound of his whimpering interrupted briefly by the clank of metal handcuffs closing around his arms.
“You don’t get to swing at me like that,” a deputy says to the 8-year-old child, the interaction caught by a video camera. “You can do what we asked you to, or you can suffer the consequences.”
The video — entered as Exhibit A in a lawsuit the ACLU filed against the school, the sheriff and the officer — rocketed across the Internet on Tuesday and was shown again and again on cable news, reigniting a fierce debate over aggressive policing in public schools.
The sheriff defended his deputy while experts insisted that children shouldn’t be treated like adult criminals and bemoaned the lack of standardized regulations for restraining children.
“It was hard to breath,” David Shapiro, who leads the National Juvenile Defender Center’s campaign against child shackling, said of his reaction when he first saw the video. “As someone who has acted out in class before, I really felt for that child. That’s not the way to treat any child, in school, in court, or anywhere.”
“Oh my goodness. Oh, no, this is not good,” groaned Steven C. Teske, a Georgia juvenile court judge who has led the charge to reduce restraints in schools, as he watched the video for the first time while on the phone with The Associated Press.
The lawsuit filed by two mothers alleges that school resource officer Kevin Sumner, a Kenton County deputy sheriff, handcuffed two children, the 8-year-old boy in the video and another 9-year-old girl in schools in the Covington Independent School District. Both children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and are identified in court records only by their initials. It’s also not clear who took the video, which was filmed in August.
The handcuffs were too big for the children’s wrists, so Sumner put the cuffs around their biceps, the lawsuit alleges.
In the video, the boy, who weighed 52 pounds, cried. “Ow, that hurts,” he says.
The boy had been removed from class for failing to follow his teacher’s instructions, the lawsuit says. He tried to leave the principal’s office, so administrators stopped him until Sumner arrived. The officer took him to the bathroom and the boy tried to hit Sumner with his elbow.
Attempts to reach the school district were unsuccessful, but Kenton County Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn defended his deputy, who he described as a respected and skilled officer valued by the community.
School administrators’ asked for his help after their “efforts to deescalate and defuse a threat to others had proven unsuccessful,” Korzenborn said in a statement. “Deputy Sumner responded to the call and did what he is sworn to do and in conformity with all constitutional and law enforcement standards.”
Kentucky state regulations ban school officials from restraining students in a public school unless the “students’ behavior poses an imminent danger of physical harm to self or others.” It also forbids personnel from restraining students that they know have disabilities that could cause trouble.
The lawsuit says officials at both schools were aware of the students’ disabilities, which include “impulsivity, and difficulty paying attention, complying with directives, controlling emotions and remaining seated.”
“An 8-year-old’s job description is to be impulsive,” said Julian Ford, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder compounds that problem, he said, struggling to think of a scenario where handcuffing an 8-year-old might be necessary.
“It helps the adults a lot more than it helps the kid,” he said.
In the video, the boy kicks his legs in the chair.
Sumner bends down and puts his hand on his shoulder.
“Look at me for a minute, look at me,” he says. “If you want the handcuffs off, you’ve got to stop kicking. Do you want them off or not? It’s up to you if you want them off.”
“I’m devastated to see a child treated this way,” said Lisa H. Thurau, founder Strategies for Youth, an organization meant to improve the relationship between children and police. “But this is not an isolated case. We’ve heard of these cases before.”
Districts across the county began placing officers in school in the early 1990s and the practice exploded in 1999, after two teenagers massacred their fellow students at Columbine High School in Colorado.
In the years since, the line between police officer and school administrator had been muddled, experts say. Schools now commonly call on their in-house officers to implement routine discipline.
At the same time, there has been no uniform method of training officers, no universal oversight or standardized guidelines, Thurau said.
Children with disabilities make up 12 percent of the public school population. But they make up 25 percent of all school arrests.
Thurau hopes that the video might spur the public to demand change.
“The video makes it very clear what’s happening out there,” she said. “And I think that there’s an increasing awareness among folks that this has really, really got to stop.”
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Prosecutors released a surveillance video Tuesday showing suspects calmly leaving an apartment building where five people were found tortured and shot to death, including a photojournalist who had taken refuge in the capital after feeling threatened in the Mexican state he covered.
The video, stamped just after 3 p.m. Friday, shows one man with a roller suitcase walking away and another getting into a red Ford Mustang and driving away. A third suspect is seen crossing the street five minutes later. All three walk normally, and the driver of Mustang takes his time pulling out.
Mexico City Prosecutor Rodolfo Rios Garza said the three men are the prime suspects in the killing of journalist Ruben Espinosa, cultural promoter Nadia Vera and three other women, including a domestic employee. All were found tied up and with gunshot wounds to the head. Espinosa showed signs of torture, and some of the women appeared to have been sexually abused, officials have said.
In June, Espinosa had fled the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, where 11 journalists have been killed since 2010, after he was followed and harassed by strangers waiting outside his house. Once in Mexico City, he still didn’t feel safe, telling friends that strangers approached him on two different occasions asking if he was the photographer who had left Veracruz.
Espinosa knew Vera from Veracruz, where she was an outspoken activist and organizer critical of the state government of Gov. Javier Duarte. In an earlier video interview, Vera said Duarte and his Cabinet were responsible for “anything that could happen to us as people involved in and organizers” of the protest movement.
When asked if Duarte would be called to give a deposition, Rio said Mexico City officials were in contact with him and his attorney general.
But officials appeared to be focusing on robbery and a female victim thought to be Colombian as its target, even as they repeated a commitment made Monday that they are not discounting any motive or line of investigation.
Rios said the crime was committed sometime before 3 p.m. Friday, though he did not say when the suspects arrived at the apartment.
The killers would have had only a half hour to 50 minutes to torture and shoot five people, ransack the apartment and pack a suitcase with stolen goods, according to witnesses who spoke to The Associated Press.
Espinosa was last heard from in a text message to a friend at 2:13 p.m., saying he was leaving the apartment to return home.
A neighbor in the next building said he saw one of the victims, the woman believed to be Colombian, on the street at 2:30 p.m. talking normally with one of the men who later entered the building and left.
The Mustang was found abandoned in the southern part of the capital Monday.
Rios said investigators were trying to reach the registered owner, but he believed the car was being used by the apparently Colombian victim, though she has not officially been identified as a citizen of that country.
Officials have not released any of the victims’ names apart from Espinosa and Vera.
Their bodies were found in Vera’s apartment around 9 p.m. Friday by a roommate who had left that morning to go to work.
Rios said Espinosa and another friend had arrived at the apartment around 2 a.m. Friday with Vera. He said they stayed up all night and went to sleep around 6 a.m. The housekeeper came about 9 a.m. During that time, Espinosa’s friend, who has not been identified, left the apartment as did Vera’s roommate.
The suspects are seen leaving the building at 3:02 p.m.
“It is during this time that the killings occurred,” Rios said.