Montgomery County Police Department

Administrator Who ‘Stood by and Watched' as 5-Year-Old Handcuffed by Police Is on Leave

Police officers can be seen and heard on video berating, detaining and handcuffing the 5-year-old, at one point calling him "a violent little thing" and "a beast"

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An assistant principal who was involved in an encounter with Montgomery County Police that ended with a 5-year-old in handcuffs has been placed on leave, Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando told WAMU’s Politics Hour on Friday.

Jawando told host Kojo Nnamdi that the administrator "stood by and watched” a disturbing incident caught on video released on March 26 at East Silver Spring Elementary.

“Every adult involved with the incident failed that 5-year-old child -- police and school officials,” Jawando said in a statement to News4. “The decision to place the school administrator on leave is made by the district, but it is a decision I support.”

In January, Montgomery County Police officers were called to the elementary after a boy left school grounds and allegedly broke a computer. Police officers berate, detain and handcuff the 5-year-old, at one point calling him "a violent little thing" and "a beast."

The boy’s mother is suing the Montgomery County Police Department, saying officers abused her son. She is also seeking monetary damages from the county and the school system. 

Disturbing video shows police officers berating, detaining and handcuffing a 5-year-old boy after he left school grounds and allegedly broke a computer. News4's Cory Smith reports.

Montgomery County Public Schools confirmed that the assistant principal was on leave but declined to share more information. A lawsuit names the assistant principal as Justine Pfeiffer. 

“We entrust Montgomery County Public Schools with the care and well being of every student,” Jawando said. “In this case, not one of the adults involved, from the police to the school employees, took measures to ensure the care and well being of this kindergartner.”

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