Police Accused Of Handcuffing 7-Year-Old Child With Special Needs

The mother of a 7-year-old child is demanding answers after her son was allegedly handcuffed at school and taken to a mental health facility in Texas.

“My son is a special-needs child, and he requires those special needs,” the boy’s mother, April Obis, told WBRC Fox 6 News.

According to Obis, her son has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can result in disruptive behavior. A trained counselor at Gabe P. Allen Charter School in Dallas is typically available to help her son cope when an issue arises.

That counselor, Obis said, was not available on May 9, when her son was removed from class after he allegedly banged his head against a wall. Instead, officers with the Dallas Independent School District Police Department allegedly subdued the boy.

Obis told Dallas-Fort Worth’s NBC 5 News that when school officials notified her that there was an issue, she went directly to the school to pick her son up. but he was not there.

“When I got there, [I said] ‘Where’s my baby?’” Obis told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. “[The school said], ‘Oh, he’s not here. He was acting out ... so he’s gone.’”

The child was allegedly transported by police to Dallas Behavioral Healthcare in DeSoto, where Obis says a family member took a photo of the handcuffed child.

The 7 year olds mother says this photo was taken after police put the boy in handcuffs. (Photo: CBS Dallas-Fort Worth)
The 7 year olds mother says this photo was taken after police put the boy in handcuffs. (Photo: CBS Dallas-Fort Worth)

According to Fox 4 News, the boy was held at the facility until Monday, May 15, when staff determined he no longer posed a threat to himself.

Obis’ attorney, Amar Dhillon, did not return a request for comment from HuffPost on Tuesday. In an interview with CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, he made several serious allegations against the police department, claiming the child has injuries consistent with those left by a stun gun and a baton.

“He did vividly describe being shocked and his body convulsing, and he was very clear about that,” Dhillon said.

It’s unclear if the child will return to the school. The school district has said privacy concerns prevent them from speaking specifically about the allegations. However, Fox 4 News did obtain a copy a statement the district sent out to parents after a photo of the handcuffed child began making the rounds on social media.

“The image you may have seen posted is of a student while he is being restrained to protect himself against any further harm,” the statement said. “We ask for your help during this period to not continue to spread misinformation.”

Obis told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth she blames the incident on a “failure in training.”

“He was denied his safe place,” Odis said. “I feel cheated and my son feels cheated.”

David Lohr covers crime and missing persons. Tips? Feedback? Send an email or follow him on Twitter.


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