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  1. #1
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    Handcuffs on 13-year-old 'excessive,' parents say

    Video of a Clearwater teen being cuffed on a school bus after shouting prompts her parents to formally complain. Her dad is outraged.


    For the second time this year, a handcuffing is raising questions about the way police handle incidents involving Pinellas County students.

    The parents of a 13-year-old Clearwater girl say a St. Petersburg police officer overreacted when he handcuffed their daughter aboard a school bus.

    Their attorney today will ask the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office to drop a charge of disorderly conduct. School officials already have cleared the girl, saying they saw nothing in a videotape of the Nov. 11 arrest that violated the student code of conduct.

    The tape shows the officer, Roberto Rolon, boarding the bus along a Safety Harbor roadside after another student threw a hard object, believed to be a golf ball, out a window. The flying object caused a car to swerve and nearly hit Rolon's police motorcycle as he drove home from work.

    The tape shows the officer walking to the back of the bus after the girl, Ashley Marie Mitchell, stands and shouts that she was not the student he was looking for.

    Moments later, Rolon approaches the girl as she again denies involvement. The tape shows him twisting the girl's arm behind her back and marching her to the front of the bus as he says, "I don't play. ... I don't play."


    Story

  2. #2
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    I would be fit to be tied too!


    The cop sounds like a pompous jerk!

  3. #3
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    I agree Linda.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a bit of a reasonable mistake - he thought she threw something at him that nearly made him crash... if it had been the right kid (and the right kid would have been denying it too), I wouldn't consider it an overreaction (hope they found the idiot who did throw the whatever, and properly punished him/her - assault on a police officer, not a minor thing). He got the wrong kid, but that's an easy mistake to make, and he didn't harm her, just handcuffed her.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Details
    Sounds like a bit of a reasonable mistake - he thought she threw something at him that nearly made him crash... if it had been the right kid (and the right kid would have been denying it too), I wouldn't consider it an overreaction (hope they found the idiot who did throw the whatever, and properly punished him/her - assault on a police officer, not a minor thing). He got the wrong kid, but that's an easy mistake to make, and he didn't harm her, just handcuffed her.

    In the article, it states that the kid who later confessed to throwing the article has moved to Germany. I'm not sure how you get assault on a police officer out of any of this story since the article wasn't thrown at police, the car that swerved out of the way of the article being thrown didn't hit the police, the little girl handcuffed never touched the cop and neither did anyone else on the bus. The cop twisted the little girl's arm behind her back and marched her up the aisle of the bus and then left her handcuffed to a railing on the bus. I would say that was seriously out of line for him to do to a little girl who simply stated that she wasn't the one who threw the object. Apparently, as the article also states, this officer has had several other incidents where his temper got the best of him and he overreacted. The family doesn't plan on filing a lawsuit, and I applaud that. However, I think at the very least this officer needs to be reprimanded, AGAIN, and sent back to training and perhaps some counselling on how better to deal with the public.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, that wasn't quite an assault on the police (I'd misremembered it as throwing the object at the cop's motorcycle), but still pretty serious since it nearly caused an accident. I'm just thinking how I'd feel, being on a motorcycle, and seeing a car suddenly swerve towards me because someone threw something at it. If he'd been in a slightly different position, or not looking the right way to dodge quickly, the motorcycle cop could instead be severely injured.

    The impression I'm working under is that he thought she did throw it, that's why the treatment. If not, then his temper did get the better of him, although after a near car accident, I can see being pretty ticked, especially if anyone is acting like it's no big deal. But he still shouldn't take that anger out on someone he doesn't think did it.

  7. #7
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    Its definately a dangerous thing to be chunking things out the window of a moving vehicle! Someone serioulsy could have been hurt. I think it was a good idea to pull the bus over and talk to the kids, I just think he went overboard.

  8. #8
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    Maybe she won't yell at the policeman the next time????

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deandaniellws
    Maybe she won't yell at the policeman the next time????

    Well, I'd prefer for people, especially children, to not yell at police, but its certainly not against the law. Maybe she'll grow up to be a civil rights attorney.

  10. #10
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    Apparently, as the article also states, this officer has had several other incidents where his temper got the best of him and he overreacted.
    -- He pushed a rookie and used profanity, which is, in my opinion, letting his temper get the better of him and overreacting.

    -- He put his foot in a door to prevent it from closing, which hardly seems to be an overreaction or a show of temper.

    -- He tapped his foot to show displeasure, which hardly seems to be an overreaction or a show of temper.

    Seems like they're making the police officer out to be a "bad guy," but based on that one article, I don't see it. I don't know what I would do in that situation. A kid who made the stupid decision to throw something out of the window of a moving school bus nearly causes an accident. The cop pulls the bus over and boards it. A kid starts yelling at him. What should he have done, not knowing the situation at hand?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeana (DP)
    Well, I'd prefer for people, especially children, to not yell at police, but its certainly not against the law. Maybe she'll grow up to be a civil rights attorney.
    I don't care what she grows up to be. She could have disagreed with him politely, then called her parents to straighten things out. I do not approve of children acting disrespectful....for any reason.



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