In a troubling incident, a 10-year-old African-American child found himself at the center of controversy last week when he was arrested and taken into custody for urinating behind his mother’s car in Senatobia, a small Mississippi town. Here’s the full story.
He Urinated Behind His Mother’s Car
On August 10, the young boy, Quantavious, committed a public indecency infraction by urinating behind his mother’s car while visiting an attorney’s office.
An Officer Questioned His Mother
The incident, which typically warrants a simple ticket, took a distressing turn when an unnamed police officer intervened and informed Quantavious’s mother, Latonya Eason, about her son’s actions.
She Could Not Believe It
Eason, who was inside the attorney’s office at the time, expressed her disbelief at the escalation of the situation.
A Simple Warning Could Have Ended It
Initial conversations between Eason and the officer indicated that the matter might be resolved with a warning, given that Eason had already addressed the issue with her son.
She Questioned Her Son
“I was like, “Son, why did you do that?”” she recalled.
She told the local news outlet how her son decided to relieve himself after his sister who was also in the car told her that the legal office did not have a bathroom.
What Really Happened
“He said, “Mom, my sister said they don’t have a bathroom there,” Eason told the outlet.
“I was like, “You knew better, you should have come and asked me if they had a restroom,”” she added.
Things Took a Turn
However, the situation took a dramatic turn when more officers arrived at the scene, including a senior lieutenant who insisted that Quantavious be taken into custody.
They Arrested the Boy
The young boy was placed in a police car and transported to the police station, where he was later released to his mother.
The Incident Went Viral
The incident quickly gained attention as local media outlets reported on the arrest of the 10-year-old.
The Mother Expressed Her Frustration
The mother revealed that her son had been left traumatized by the experience, describing how he cried and felt scared during the ordeal.
The Police Chief Issued a Statement
In response to the growing public outcry, the town’s police chief, Richard Chandler, issued a statement acknowledging the mistake made by the officers involved.
Error in Judgment
Chandler stated that the decision to transport the child to the police station was an “error in judgment,” given that Eason was present at the scene and could have handled the situation as a reasonable alternative.
Children Can Be Arrested
“The Youth Court Act allows officers to file a referral against a child as young as seven years old if they are in need of supervision (which may also be based on delinquent acts), or ten years old if they commit acts that would be illegal for an adult under identical circumstances (i.e., a “delinquent” act),” he added.
The Boy Was Traumatized
Quantavius, however, remained traumatized, tearfully telling the media, “I started crying a little bit. They took me down there and got me out of the truck.
I didn’t know what was happening. I get scared and start shaking and thinking I’m going to jail.”
“I’m just speechless right now. Why would you arrest a 10-year-old kid,” Eason concluded.
No Need to Traumatize the Kid
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “This was a 10-year-old boy who needed to pee. This is an infliction of trauma for no good reason. And always a black or brown child.”
Another user wrote, “Traumatizing that poor child for a quick [pee] outside?! This would be a cute #American story if it has some white kid from #Nashville is doing it. Who did he even hurt? Wasted time & resources bothering this kid because he had to pee?”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.