People Are Outraged After A 12-Year-Old Boy Was Handcuffed & Held Down By Police In BC
A video of the incident has gone viral.
A 12-year-old boy's mother started recording a video as police officers in Vancouver handcuffed her son while at the BC Children's Hospital on Thursday. The video has circulated on TikTok and Facebook, with many commenters appalled by the incident.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police told Narcity that the physical force used was "a necessary step to ensure the safety of the person in the midst of a crisis, the general public and the officers involved."
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Mia Brown wrote in a post on Facebook that while she respects the Vancouver Police and TransLink Police, "This was a first."
She goes on to say that while she and her son were waiting to see a doctor at the hospital, her son "started whining," because their usual waiting room was taken. "A moment later he was pushed to the ground and handcuffed," she said.
"My kid has been diagnosed with conditions and I the parent do my best with his behaviour," she added. In the hashtags of the video, Brown suggested that her child has autism and ADHD and is Indigenous.
Brown claimed that one officer placed his knee on her son's back. She says she began recording the video after attempting to get the police officers off her son and not being able to.
The video, which now has over 3 million views on TikTok, shows two officers holding the child, who has handcuffs on, face-down on the ground. You can hear Brown telling someone in the video that her son wanted the other room and got upset when it was occupied by someone else.
"They pinned him to the floor and they cuffed him," she adds.
Brown repeatedly asks the officers to remove the handcuffs, telling them that "this is too much."
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"Based on his violent behaviour in the past, we can't let it progress further," one police officer says in the video.
"He's not going to progress further, he's 12 years old," Brown responds.
People in the comments sent words of support to Brown, many heartbroken and upset over the incident. Others were outraged, saying that it "isn't right." One person wrote that they hope Brown can "get justice" for him.
The Metro Vancouver Transit Police told Narcity in a statement that they were initially called to the Broadway-Commercial SkyTrain Station by a SkyTrain attendant just before 5 p.m.
"Arriving officers arrived to find a youth who was physically assaulting a woman, later identified as his mother, who had minor injuries, including a bloody face as a result of the altercation," the statement says.
The attendant told police that the youth also began assaulting them when they tried to intervene.
While the police said that officers attempted to verbally de-escalate the situation, "The youth began trying to push their mother towards the tracks, causing an even greater concern for her safety."
After this, police said that the officers physically restrained the child using handcuffs "as a safety precaution in order to prevent further injuries to everyone involved, including the youth himself," and that he "was apprehended under Section 28 of the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital."
The statement also says that upon arrival at the hospital, the handcuffs were taken off, but then temporarily put back on when he "became combative while being admitted for assessment."
"Once he had calmed down, the handcuffs were removed and the youth was admitted to hospital under the care of a physician," it concludes.
Transit police told Narcity that "the use of physical force is always a last resort." They added that they "have reached out to [their] partners at Canucks Autism Network who provide law enforcement training, for support and guidance to better deal with neurodivergent individuals who present an increased risk due to escalating violent behaviour, over and above the regular training we get from them as well as Pacific Autism Family Network."
BC Children’s Hospital Chief Operating Officer Sarah Bell told Narcity that they are aware of the incident and "have initiated a Health & Safety review of this incident and our Indigenous Health team has reached out to the family to offer support."
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