A community in Hawaii is in uproar after a 10-year-old Black girl was handcuffed and detained by the police — for drawing a picture of her bully.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii has filed a lawsuit seeking $500,000 in damages on behalf of the Honowai Elementary School student.
The student was the victim of bullying and drew a portrait of one of the alleged aggressors in January 2020 — but the parents of the child in the picture were offended by the sketch and called the police.
The girl was arrested and taken to the Pearl City Police Station. She has reportedly been diagnosed with ADHD. Her initials… N.B.
According to the report by the ACLU, N.B. was handcuffed in front of her classmates and interrogated by law enforcement without her mother present while in custody. She was not charged with any crimes.
“A parent of one of the kids who received this drawing, was very upset and essentially demanded that they call the police,” Mateo Caballero, an attorney for the child’s family, told Hawaii News Now. “She didn’t bring any weapons to school, she didn’t make any explicit threats to anyone,” he added.
The girl’s mother, Tamara Taylor, claims she was not initially allowed to see her daughter and was confined to two rooms at the school.
She wept as officers left with her daughter.
“I was stripped of my rights as a parent and my daughter was stripped of her right of protection and representation as a minor. There was no understanding of diversity, African American culture and the presence of police involvement with African-American youth,” Taylor wrote in a letter to the school a few days later. “My daughter and I are traumatized from these events and sure that there is no future for us at Honowai Elementary. I’m disheartened to know that this day will live with [N.B.] as a memory forever,” she added.
They were “singled out because of their race,” a letter from the ACLU read, “both perceived and treated as ‘more dangerous,’ less rational, and less worthy of respect for their rights than the non-Black students and parents involved.”
The school is yet to release a public statement.