Parents Say Tecumseh Police Used Excessive Force On Their Son
TECUMSEH, Oklahoma - The father of a special needs child says officers in Tecumseh used excessive force on his 9-year-old son.
The father admits the boy has a history of behavioral issues, but says what happened after school last Thursday crosses the line.
What's unclear here though, is what exactly led up to an officer putting a 9-year-old boy in handcuffs, and then allegedly carrying him from outside his elementary school to the principal's office. It's the only part of the altercation that wasn't caught on camera.
“They were hurting my son and I had to make it stop,” said the child's father, Morgan King.
King says his son has been diagnosed with a number behavioral disorders including ADHD.
“About the time when I was coming around where I could witness where the kids were being picked up at. I could see my son being drug across the schoolyard by an officer,” said King.
According to Tecumseh police, an on-duty police officer at Cross Timbers Elementary was alerted by the school's principal.
“The juvenile was making threats to kill the staff at the school, and the officer made contact with the juvenile, and he was still out of control,” said Tecumseh's Assistant police chief, J.R. Kidney.
Police say they had no choice, but to restrain the child.
“You're going to calm down. We're going to talk like adults for a minute,” said the officer in his bodycam video.
In the bodycam video, you can clearly see an upset 9-year-old boy in handcuffs.
“Stop, get these off of me,” said the 9-year-old.
He pleads with the Tecumseh police officer to take off his handcuffs as his father argues with the officer in the background.
“Can you get these freaking off of me,” said the child.
He struggles to get the handcuffs off himself, even at one point getting his arms from behind his back to in front of him.
“If you calm down, I'll loosen them up for ya,” said the officer. “Would you like me to do that?”
“We can't allow somebody to assault us, hit us, kick us, scream and that kind of thing. We have to restrain. We have to protect ourselves and the school staff,” said Kidney.
“It was not a police matter,” said King. “There was nothing unlawful going on.”
Police tell us Morgan King did file a complaint with the Tecumseh Police Department. The investigation continues and the department has contacted the FBI just to make them aware of the situation.