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Montgomery County Mother Cries Foul When Police Called on 10-Year-Old Son Playing With Toy Money

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Police Question Disabled Student Over Play Money
Chris Gordon reports on a boy in Montgomery County who was questioned by police for having play money, which authorities mistakenly believed may have been counterfeit. (Published Tuesday, Jun 11, 2019 ) Chris Gordon reports on a boy in Montgomery County who was questioned by police for having play... See More

Chris Gordon reports on a boy in Montgomery County who was questioned by police for having play money, which authorities mistakenly believed may have been counterfeit.

(Published Tuesday, Jun 11, 2019)

A Montgomery County mother is crying foul after law enforcement was called because her 10-year-old son was playing with toy money, purchased from Amazon, on a school bus.

Tiffany Kelly started a petition complaining that her son was a victim of "over-policing" of minorities. She says police questioned her son without notifying her after someone found a bill on the school bus and thought it might be counterfeit.

In a Change.org petition, Kelly explained the school and police each severely overreacted to the situation at hand.

"On May 14, 2019, my son took play money to school (purchased from Amazon). He is excited about money and learning to count 'his money.' In an attempt for socialization, something he struggles with, he passed it out on the school bus to his peers," she wrote. "The money has bright pink Asian symbols on the front and back, along with dotted lines, so that it can be distinguished as play money."

Kelly said later that day one of the bills was discovered at the bus depot. When bus video footage was reviewed the decision was made to call the police.

"The police came to the school to question my son. They also called the Secret Service," she wrote. "Outrageous."

"It is not fair to believe that a person of color has committed a crime, Kelly told NBC4's Chris Gordon. "I do not believe it would have happened to someone had they not been a minority."

Kelly said the Montgomery County public school system sent her a statement saying their practice is to call the police if there is suspicion and or evidence of a student trying to use counterfeit money to purchase something. "But that wasn't the case in this incident and the police should not have been called," she said.

"Moving to Montgomery County, specifically Chevy Chase, was scary for me," Kelly wrote on her petition. "It is an area that is not very diverse, and my greatest fear was policing of my son. My nightmare has come true."

Montgomery County police responded saying there was no racial profiling in their investigation.