WATER COOLER TALK: Portland Police Arrest & Handcuff a 9-Year Old A Week After The Fight! Handcuffs Overboard or Needed?

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A year ago, two Portland police officers (Officer David McCarthy and OfficerMatthew Huspek), investigating a fight at a youth club came to the home of a 9-year-old Portland girl, handcuffed her as she stood in a blue and white bathing suit, and led her away to be processed downtown on an assault charge.

The girl’s mother and some in the juvenile justice system call the handcuffing and arrest excessive. A citizen panel that investigates police misconduct plans to look into it.  “When they put handcuffs on, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, this has got to be a joke,’ ” Latoya Harris (first from left) told The Oregonian. “The look on my daughter’s face went from humiliation and fear, to a look of sheer panic.”

Joseph Hagedon, chief supervising attorney for the Metropolitan Public Defender’s juvenile unit, said it’s a concern that the fight had occurred a week earlier, and the girl was at home with a parent.  “It was way over the top for them to do that,” Hagedon said.  Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said officers use handcuffs as a safeguard, and they acted according to bureau policy.

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