After seeing him riding his dirtbike on the sidewalk, Baltimore police arrested a 7-year-old boy, handcuffed him, then hauled him off to the station house where they took his mug shot and fingerprints.
Dinkins, who turned 7 last month, was sitting on the bike with the motor off on a sidewalk near his home in east Baltimore when an officer grabbed him by the collar and pulled him off the bike, according to his mother Kikisa Dinkins, who witnessed the arrest.
“I told them to let go of my baby,” Dinkins recalled. “Since when do you pull a 7-year-old child by his neck and drag him?”
“They started yelling at him, ‘Do you know what you did wrong, son?”‘ Dinkins said. “He was so scared he ran upstairs.”
Police confiscated the dirt bike and placed her son under arrest.
“They scared me,” Gerard Mungo Jr. told The Baltimore Examiner before breaking down in tears.
The incident brought new heat on a department already under fire for making what critics call frivolous or unnecessary arrests.
Police commissioner Leonard Hamm, although noting the city’s ongoing concern about the nuisance of dirt bikes, said in a statement Thursday that the arrest of the 7-year-old “was not consistent with my philosphy of trying to solve problems in the neighborhoods.”
Mayor Sheila Dixon said that she intended to look into the incident. “As a mother and as a parent, I am bothered by it,” she said. “I will get to the bottom of this.”
At the station, young Gerard was handcuffed to a bench and interrogated, before he was released to the custody of his parents.
I think that something should have been done about this little boy riding a motor bike on the sidewalk , but jail, handcuffing and finger printing may be excessive.
It sounds as though they were trying to make an example of him so that all of the other kids in the neighbourhood knew that the police meant business.
It’s probably safe to say he won’t do it again…