Mother sues police for handcuffing kids

Nov. 23, 2011 at 10:28 PM
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WESTERVILLE, Ohio, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- An Ohio woman is suing police for handcuffing her children following a fight on a school bus.

Tonya Mitchell said Westerville Police officers used excessive force and violated the civil rights of her children, Mikeal Mitchell, 8, and Michelle Mitchell, 7, during the Oct. 19 incident, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Wednesday.

The three officers, the school district's transportation service, Pointview Elementary School and administrators are named in the suit, which asks for an award of $1.5 million. Tonya Mitchell says her children have nightmares and fear police.

School records say the children were charged with delinquency counts of disorderly conduct when they pushed the bus driver and threatened their school principal. The charges were dismissed because of their age, but both were expelled from school for 80 days.

The lawsuit says a police officer pulled a chair out from beneath Mikeal Mitchell, causing him to fall and hit his head. The boy was then handcuffed, along with his sister after she became upset.

Tonya Mitchell accuses school officials of racial discrimination -- her children are African-American.

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