Police in Senatobia, Mississippi apologized for the wrongful arrest of a 10-year-old Black boy. On Aug. 10, officials from the Sentobia Police Department detained 10-year-old Quantavious Eason for public urination.
The boy’s mother, Latonya Eason, told FOX 13 Memphis that the incident occurred when she stopped by the Senatobia attorney’s office for legal advice. The matriarch was in a meeting inside when a police officer caught her young son urinating behind her car outside of the office.
Baffled by his actions, Latonya asked her son why he urinated behind the vehicle.
“I was like son, why did you do that? He said, ‘Mom, my sister said they don’t have a bathroom there,’ I was like you knew better, you should have come and asked me if they had a restroom,” Eason recalled.
After she addressed Quantavious about his behavior, the officer let the boy go with a fair warning, but the incident took a turn for the worst when several cop cars approached the mother and son. That’s when a lieutenant from the department detained Quantavious, stating that the 10-year-old had to go to jail for public urination.
In a post shared to Facebook on Sunday, LaTonya posted a picture of her son detained in the back of the officer’s cop car. “I’m just speechless right now. Why would you arrest a 10-year-old kid,” the upset mother told FOX 13 Memphis.
The wrongful arrest also stunned young Quantavious.” I started crying a little bit. They took me down there and got me out of the truck. I didn’t know what was happening,” he said. “I get scared and start shaking and thinking I am going to jail.”
Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler issues an apology.
Quantavious was detained by the Senatobia Police Department and taken to a jail cell. He was charged with a child in need of services and released shortly after.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler apologized for Quantavious’ arrest. He claimed that the officer on duty was following the law under the state’s Youth Court Act, which allows officers to file referrals against children as young as seven years old if they are “in need of supervision” or 10 years old “if they commit acts that would be illegal for an adult.”
Chandler stated that the officer did not see Eason at the time and detained her son because he was “committing an act in public that would have been illegal for an adult,”
The police chief called the shocking arrest an “error of judgment” and vowed to implement better training for officers across the department.
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