Caught on cam: California police handcuff 12-year-old

U.S. & World

(KCRA/NBC News) Newly-released body camera video shows California police putting a young boy in handcuffs before placing a spit mask on his head.

The Sacramento Police Department released the footage Wednesday after a witness posted cell phone video of the arrest online.

According to the police department, the boy was running from a security guard near a hot dog restaurant last month when the two officers stopped to help detain him.

In the video, you can see the boy being handcuffed and carried toward an officer’s car.

When bystanders begin asking police why he’s being detained the young boy spits on an officer. 

Police said they tried to get him in the back of a patrol car, but he struggled and was eventually pinned to the ground. 

The boy is heard repeatedly telling officers they had no right to put him in handcuffs and admitted to spitting in the officer’s face. 

That’s when the officer requests a spit mask, which is later placed over the boy’s head, while he’s still in cuffs. 

A spokesman with the Sacramento Police Department said the officers’ actions were warranted, but the boy’s attorney questions if a child in an affluent neighborhood would have been treated the same way.

“He was no longer a threat in any way. He was constrained with his arms behind his back in handcuffs and there was no spitting going on whatsoever, so clearly to me it was an effort to intimidate him, to punish him, to humiliate him,” says attorney Mark T. Harris.

Police said the boy was later released to his mother, who showed up at the scene. 

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