Richmond, VA

Cops Hurt 12-Year-Old Boy With Autism. Was That Right?

Chibuzo Nwachuku
Photo of HandcuffsPhoto byMedioimages/Photodisc/Getty

A woman from Virginia voiced her complaint after her claim that her 12-year-old son was concussed by a police officer at a tennis program. This event was meant to promote a good connection with the police. Sheila Jackson registered her preteen son Curtis Hayes for an after-school tennis program administered by the Richmond Police Athletic League. Her decision to get him involved in this event was inspired by her uncle who was a police officer. She wanted her son to have positive views with the police officers instead of thinking negatively of them because of what he had seen about cops on TV.

On November 3, Jackson went to the tennis courts at Virginia Commonwealth University and saw Curtis on the ground with handcuffs on him. She had to take him to the University's emergency room where the boy was diagnosed with a concussion.

She heard from the staff that Curtis was getting frustrated by his tennis serves that they asked him to practice serving to the side of the others. She said that Curtis however told her that a female officer yelled at him, prompting him to walk away. She believed that the officer might have misinterpreted the behavior as deviant but she said that her son walked away for self-regulation. She believes the officer had no clue of this and grabbed him.

Jackson claimed that when she arrived the scene, her son in handcuffs was on the ground behind the opening of the fence with an officer holding his head, an officer on his left leg, an officer holding down his shoulders on his right side and then a fourth officer standing up, watching.

The police told Jackson that Curtis headbutted a cop while in custody and they handcuffed him because they thought he would run away.

Jackson who was apoplectic because of the handcuffs could not understand why anyone at that age in such a condition would be treated like that. She asked for answers from multiple cops but is still yet to get a response. She paid $5 for a report which has no description of the incident. According to a spokesperson, the police department are conducting an investigation, yet no more details are provided.

She said her son's well being has been hurt since the incident, having a negative effect on his academic performance. Source:

It is really disturbing to have a kid handcuffed. The cops that were involved gave a bad image of the police. The poor boy must have been traumatized by their actions. He may continuously see cops as bad guys. I am not saying that Jackson and her son Curtis are recording devices but I thought cops had protective devices. I would not buy what the cops that were involved said. Should I believe that the internal investigation started? I don't think so. What about the other kids? Nothing is heard from them. I am convinced that the chief and the other administrative cops are covering things up. There are issues behind bad actions of cops. There are supreme court rulings that provide cops some immunity from being held accountable for their negligence or criminal actions. There are statutory laws by lawmakers that favor cops. The country has the culture of backing the blue even if the blue doesn't back the rest. This is absolutely wrong. The justice system and the police need to be corrected. There are people in the two systems that are above the law. The police needs to be reformed but I don't see it happening. What do you think about the incident?

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