NORTH SACRAMENTO — In a video that’s now going viral, a 12-year-old boy being detained by Sacramento police is handcuffed with a spit bag placed over his head.
“I started getting nervous. My hand started trembling. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I hope this is not another Tamir Rice,'” said the boy’s mother, Latoya Downs.
Downs said when she arrived on scene in a North Sacramento parking lot on Del Paso Boulevard, she feared for her son, Isaiah’s, life.
“He was crying, he was scared. He was saying, ‘Mama, mama, they won’t let me go,'” she told FOX40. “I didn’t know it was gonna get this bad. I said, ‘I’m outraged. I don’t know what to do.'”
The Sacramento Police Department says two officers witnessed a private security guard chasing Isaiah and stopped to help. According to Sgt. Vance Chandler, the security guard told officers the child had been trespassing and stealing.
Isaiah and his family deny those allegations.
“The officers were trying to protect themselves,” Chandler told FOX40.
Chandler says the use of a spit hood, even on a child, is protocol.
“The subject spit on the officer in the face multiple times and they put a spit mask on him,” he said.
In the video, Isaiah references spitting on an officer.
“Yeah, I spit on you. How you like that s***?” he says.
However, the family’s attorney, Mark T. Harris, says officers should have shown some leniency, given that Isaiah is just 12 years old.
“It was shameful,” Harris said. “I’ve been practicing for 40 years. Never have I seen an adult with a bag placed over their head, let alone a child.”
Ultimately, police never cited Isaiah for a crime other than spitting. The boy’s family maintains he should never have been detained to begin with.
Sacramento police are still reviewing body camera footage of the incident, which they will be releasing soon.
In the meantime, Isaiah’s family is exploring a lawsuit and asking for an apology from the police department.