Viral video footage of police officers in Sacramento, California, detaining a 12-year-old boy has left a mother outraged, and she has accused the officers of using excessive force.
“I started getting nervous. My hands started trembling. I’m like, ‘Oh, my god, I hope this is not another Tamir Rice,” the boy’s mother, Latoya Downs, told FOX40.
When she arrived at the scene, Downs saw that her son, Isaiah, was handcuffed and had a mesh spit hood over his head. “He was crying, he was scared. He was saying, ‘Mama, mama, they won’t let me go,” she recounted. “I didn’t know it was gonna get this bad. I said, ‘I’m outraged. I don’t know what to do.'”
According to the Sacramento Police Department, two officers were patrolling a North Sacramento parking lot when they saw a private security guard chasing the adolescent.
Sgt. Vance Chandler said the security guard told the officers that Isaiah was trespassing and stealing.
Chandler said the use of the spit hood followed proper protocol. “The officers were trying to protect themselves,” he explained. “The subject spit on the officer in the face multiple times and they put a spit mask on him.”
Mark T. Harris, the family’s attorney, said officers should have taken the boy’s age into consideration. “It was shameful,” he told the news outlet. “I’ve been practicing for 40 years. Never have I seen an adult with a bag placed over their head, let alone a child.”
Despite claims of trespassing and stealing, Isaiah was cited only for spitting. His family, who said he should have never been detained by police, is exploring a lawsuit and asking for a public apology.
The police department is reviewing body camera footage from the incident, which will be released in the near future.
Click here to see the exchange.