New York State Senator Eric Adams (D, Brooklyn) and Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel will hold a press conference with 10-year-old I’mecca Burton and her mother Taniesha Burton. The incident involving I’mecca occurred when the police responded to a complaint about children who were refusing to sit down on a school bus. Young I’mecca is the second child with a learning disability reportedly handcuffed by members of the NYC Police Department during recent weeks.
At the press conference, Senator Adams accentuated the fact that he was not second-guessing police decisions concerning the need to use restraint in any specific case, but instead was emphasizing the importance of selecting a means of control appropriate to a situation involving a youngster. He drew upon his extensive experience as an officer in the NYPD to explain a technique that can substitute for handcuffs in cases that involve young children. The police can use a specially designed orange strip of padded Velcro that immobilizes a child’s arms by encircling the body while pinning the arms straight down alongside it.
Senator Adams states: “Handcuffing young children can be a very traumatic experience for them, and it must only be used as a last resort. NYPD officers should receive specific training in the alternative method of restraint, the use of the padded Velcro strip. It is physically far gentler than handcuffs could ever be and does not have the negative psychological impact of handcuffs.”