There’s outrage in Santa Clarita, California, after a seven-year-old had been wrongfully accused and questioned of having a gun in his backpack.
Thea-Maries Perkins said the civil rights of her seven-year-old son Solomon, were violated after he was wrongfully accused of gun possession at his Saugus elementary school.
“They checked his backpack and saw that he had over 20 or so Valentine’s Day cards that he was going to give to his friends,” Perkins said.
Solomon was, however, accused by another student who had been bullying him that he had a gun. The school administrator searched Solomon’s backpack but found no gun.
That notwithstanding, the administrator still called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who would question Solomon without the presence of his mother.
“My son said that he had a Nerf slingshot,” Perkins said as reported by KTLA 5. “My child is not allowed to play with weapons, nor is he allowed to play with guns. They’re not anywhere in the house.”
Solomon was reportedly questioned by six deputies. The incident happened on Thursday, February 13.
“They had already violated my civil rights. They violated my son’s civil rights. They sequestered him. They questioned him without me,” Perkins said.
“She didn’t call one sheriff… there were six sheriff’s department officers that showed up,” Perkins told FOX 11 reporter Gina Silva. “Three squad cars, not cars but trucks, when I arrived.”
“This district has criminalized a 7-year-old African American child and I am absolutely angry,” Perkins continued. “There’s really no reason for that after there was evidence that the accusation that was made was false.”
According to FOX 11, the school’s principal sent an email to parents following the incident stating: “As many of you may be aware we have had law enforcement on campus today. All of our students are safe and the school day is progressing as normal.”
“During their investigation, the deputies determined a 7-year-old male student had allegedly made ‘specific threats’ about possibly engaging in a school shooting. The responding deputies made contact with the student and enlisted additional resources to evaluate his emotional and mental wellness.
“Not only did the deputies have a duty to protect the other children present at the school, but we’re also obligated to ensure the safety of the student involved,” the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said in a statement.
Civil Rights Attorney, Leo Terrell told FOX 11, “Parents should be concerned that their kids, a minor 7 or 8, would be investigated without parents involvement.
“But the balancing act to that, the counter-argument, is very simple — we’re talking about a threat that would affect many other parents and many other parents would ask a very simple question: Why not call in the authorities? So there’s a balancing test — some parents would get upset, others would be satisfied that they did a complete, thorough job. The kid was released, no harm, no foul, and everyone can walk away without being injured.”
According to Darrell Goode with the NAACP, “There is direct or indirect systemic racism or bias in how this child was treated. That’s why we want to meet with them.”