In January 2020, Honolulu Police arrested a 10-year-old black girl in front of her classmates after a parent called the school to complain about a drawing made by the young girl. The parent demanded the police be called.
Officers arrived at Honowai Elementary School, handcuffed the 10-year-old, and hauled her off to the police station.
The girl’s mother was called to the school, but wasn’t permitted to see her daughter and was never told she was handcuffed or arrested.
The American Civil Liberties Union Of Hawaii sent a letter to the Honolulu Police Department, the state Department of Education, and the state attorney general on Monday demanding action and accountability.
In the letter, they asked for policy changes, for the arrest to be expunged, and $500,000 in damages for pain and suffering.
Her mother Tamara Taylor told CNN that she and her daughter were traumatized and she fears neither of them will ever forget this tragic event.
“I was stripped of my rights as a parent and my daughter was stripped of her right to protection and representation as a minor,” she said. “There was no understanding of diversity, African-American culture and the history of police involvement with African-American youth.”
In the letter, the ACLU alleges the girl did participate in drawing the offensive sketch, but other students were involved in coloring and writing on it. It also mentions the girl’s intent wasn’t to share the letter, but another student, “snatched it from her hands and delivered it anyway.” The drawing has not been released to the public.
Honolulu Police told CNN they were reviewing the letter from the ACLU and will be addressing the allegations. The ACLU wants a response from the school and police before November 8th.
Black children always seem to be the go to when it comes to police arresting students while at school or on school grounds.
According to the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, black students represented 31% of all students arrested at school or during school-related activities.
Black girls also get treated like adults far more than white girls. A 2017 Georgetown Law study found that black girls are viewed as needing less protection and nurturing than white girls.