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Syracuse police are under scrutiny after video shows officers detaining a crying boy

The skyline in Syracuse, N.Y. in 2015.
Mike Groll
/
AP
The skyline in Syracuse, N.Y. in 2015.

A review of Syracuse police actions is underway, after a video of a young boy being stopped by officers went viral.

The video taken and posted by Kenneth Jackson has received several views, comments and shares. Many commenters have heavily criticized the department's handling of the case, saying it was a wild overreaction to an allegedly stolen bag of chips.

The Syracuse Police Department said they are reviewing the officers' actions and body-worn cameras.

In the video captured by Jackson, at least three police officers surround a wailing boy. One of the officers takes both of the child's arms and holds him from behind as he takes the still-screaming and sobbing boy to the back of the police car.

As Jackson continues to record the interaction, he yells at the officers in protest. Jackson, who spoke to Syracuse.com, said the incident could have been traumatizing for the boy.

"There's other ways to rectify this besides scare tactics," he told the news outlet. "Now that's just another youth that's scarred by the system."

The Syracuse Police Department said the boy "suspected of larceny" was not put in handcuffs and no charges were filed. He was brought home, and officers met with the child's father, they said.

The boy's father, Anthony Weah, also spoke with Syracuse.com about the incident.

"Why would the police treat that child like that?" Weah asked. "Over a $3 bag of chips." Weah told the news outlet that he wants to file a complaint against the police.

The Syracuse case is reminiscent of an incident in Florida a few years ago, in which a young girl named Kaia Rolle was arrested after throwing a tantrum in school. The video of her crying sparked outrage.

Recently, USA Today analyzed federal crime reports and found more than 2,600 arrests in schools involving kids ages 5 to 9 between 2000 and 2019.

In New York state a child must be a minimum of 12 years old to be arrested.

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