After taking a 10-year-old boy into custody for public urination, a Mississippi officer is “no longer employed,” police say.
An officer with the Senatobia Police Department is no longer on the staff following his role in the Aug. 10 arrest of a child who peed behind his mother’s car when he had to use the bathroom, according to an Aug. 21 release from the department.
“Several of our officers were recently involved in an incident that involved a ten-year-old juvenile,” Senatobia Chief of Police Richard Chandler wrote in the release. “The officer’s decisions violated our written policy and went against our prior training on how to deal with these situations.”
The boy’s mother, Latonya Eason, was visiting an attorney’s office while her children waited outside in the car, FOX 26 reported. Her son had to use the bathroom, so he got out and peed behind the car.
An officer spotted the boy and went and found his mother to tell her what had happened, according to FOX 26.
Eason said the officer was just going to issue a warning, until others showed up and told her he needed to be taken to jail, WHBQ reported.
Officers put the child in the back of the squad car to take him to the police station. That’s when Eason snapped a photo that sparked outrage, and the incident triggered an internal complaint, Chandler said.
“I’m just speechless right now because for one, I can’t believe it happened,” Eason told WHBQ. “Why would you arrest a 10-year-old kid?”
Police took the child to the station, where he received a youth court referral.
After the incident, Chandler released a statement on Aug. 15 saying officers are allowed to file a referral against a 10-year-old who commits an act “that would be illegal for an adult under identical circumstances.”
However, he added that officers made an “error in judgment” to take the child to the police station because his mother was present. The child was not handcuffed, he said.
In his more recent statement, Chandler announced one of the officers is “no longer employed, and the others will be disciplined.”
Senatobia police have not released the name of the officer who is no longer with the force.
Senatobia is about 170 miles north of Jackson.