A Montgomery County mother has been paid $275,000 to settle a lawsuit she filed, alleging police officers detained, threatened, and handcuffed her then 5-year-old son after he left school.
According to WTOP, the announcement of the settlement was made by the Office of the County Attorney for Montgomery County on Friday. The settlement was reached between Shanta Grant, the county’s Board of Education as well as the two police officers involved in the January 2020 encounter.
The County’s Self-Insurance Fund will cover the settlement. The insurance fund paid Grant $55,000 in the name of the Board of Education while $220,000 was paid in the name of the two police officers. They were identified as Dionne Holliday and Kevin Christmon. Per the terms of the settlement agreement, Grant can’t file any other lawsuit in connection with the incident.
“We are pleased to see that the parties involved in this case reached a settlement; I had been pushing for this for quite some time,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement.
“This incident has been thoroughly reviewed, including as part of the external audit conducted by Effective Law Enforcement for All (ELE4A), and has led to changes in officer training, incident reporting processes, and clarification of how officers should interact with students in our schools.”
The January 2020 incident occurred after employees at East Silver Spring Elementary School called the police to report that a student was missing. Holliday and Christmon were the responding officers, and they ultimately located the then 5-year-old boy outside the school’s premises.
But the lawsuit alleged that the officers verbally abused and threatened Grant’s child, adding that the minor was also handcuffed when he was returned to the school. The lawsuit also highlighted some comments the officers made during their interaction with the minor.
Christmon allegedly told the child to “cut that out” while he was crying in the squad car’s backseat. Holliday also allegedly asked the boy if his “Mama” spanks him, per WTOP.
“She’s going to spank you today,” the police officer added.