Sacramento, California activists, and organizers are demanding answers after a white Sacramento police officer handcuffed a 12-year-old Black boy and placed a spit sock hood over his head and face to restrain him.
Black Lives Matter-Sacramento posted the disturbing video on its Facebook page and is demanding transparency in this case and justice for the child—who stands approximately 4’10, and weighs less than 100 pounds, according to Mark T. Harris, the attorney representing the family. The child was reportedly attending a carnival at the time of the incident and has not been identified by name.
In an op-ed for the San Francisco Bayview, Harris called the incident “shocking, shameful, unconscionable, and intolerable.”
“The young victim was born with significant upper respiratory complications and according to his mother and grandmother, suffered from breathing difficulties particularly when anxious,” Harris wrote. “It did not help the child’s respiratory condition that officers grasped his neck, placed him on the ground, handcuffed him with his hands behind his back, placed a knee in his back and forced his face into the asphalt.”
Trigger Warning: State violence, child abuse
Outrage spread quickly on social media and the video of the violent incident quickly went viral—in part, due to the belief that the spit-sock hood was a plastic bag. A spit-sock, which “catches and retains” vomit, saliva, and blood, is made from a somewhat breathable material and is typically only used on suspects to protect police officers from bodily fluids.
According to Harris, in this case, it was just used to “shut [the child] up.”
“At the time this occurred, the child was pleading for officers to ‘call my mom’ and telling officers that he ‘could not breathe!’” Harris wrote.
Read more at the San Francisco Bayview.