Published Online: October 27, 2014
Published in Print: October 29, 2014, as Court Rejects Handcuffing of Elementary Student

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Court Rejects Handcuffing of Elementary Student

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A federal appeals court has upheld most of a jury verdict against two police officers and the city of Sonora, Calif., in the handcuffing and transport of an 11-year-old student who was unresponsive at recess.

At Sonora Elementary School in 2008, a physical education teacher became concerned that the boy, based on past experiences, might run away from school or into traffic, and she tried to coax him back into the building. When he continued to be unresponsive, the police were called. The officers, who responded to a report of an "out of control" juvenile, handcuffed the student and transported him into the care of his guardian.

The student filed a federal civil rights suit against the police department and the two officers, alleging excessive force and unlawful seizure. He also sued the district and the teacher; both parties settled for an undisclosed amount.

Vol. 34, Issue 10, Page 4

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