A Mississippi police officer has lost his job after a 10-year-old boy who was caught urinating in a car park was arrested and detained. The incident sparked widespread criticism as images of the embarrassed child being taken to jail circulated. The police chief, Richard Chandler, acknowledged a mistake in judgment for taking the boy to jail and initiating a referral for a delinquent act.
Under increasing pressure, the police chief has disclosed that one officer involved in the incident is no longer employed, and other officers will face disciplinary actions for disregarding department policies and training. The chief expressed gratitude for the public’s patience during the investigation, as stated on the department’s Facebook page.
The police department acknowledged the public’s trust and support and expressed commitment to ongoing improvement and learning from their errors. According to the mother, Latonya Eason, the officer who initially encountered her son had intended to give him a warning for the incident but changed his decision when other officers arrived, and a superior demanded the child be taken to the station and charged with being left unattended, according to Daily Mail.
Eason, the mother, found her son in the car park and asked him why he urinated there. Her son, Quantivious, explained that he did so because his sister informed him that the legal office they were visiting did not have a restroom. Eason planned to discipline her son for his actions at that point.
Eason expressed her disappointment to her son, telling him he should have asked her about the restroom situation. Initially, the single officer appeared to agree, saying that since she handled it as a mother, her son could simply return to the car.
The child, Quantivious, was initially going to be allowed to return to the car by a single officer after his mother discussed the situation with him. However, when senior officers arrived, he was charged with “child in need of services,” involving the city’s Juvenile Court. Police Chief Chandler explained that the officers did not see a parent initially and transported the child to the police station to complete the paperwork.
This decision was considered an error in judgment since the mother was located nearby. Disciplinary action against the officers resulted from an internal complaint, with the chief expressing a commitment to creating a safer and more respectful environment. Quantivious remains traumatized by the experience, feeling scared and uncertain during the incident.
Quantivious’s mother expressed her shock and dismay at the officers’ actions. While acknowledging that her son urinating in the parking lot was not right, she emphasized that she had already handled the situation as a parent. She became emotional as she questioned why one officer initially allowed her son to return to the car while another later arrested him and took him to jail, leaving her speechless and puzzled about why a 10-year-old child was arrested.