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Police Overreach of the Day: A 6-Year-Old Is Handcuffed in Georgia

A kindergartener was arrested after she threw a tantrum in the principal's office.


We're sure every parent has, on occasion, fantasized about this very thing: in Milledgeville, Georgia, late last week, police handcuffed a 6-year-old girl who was throwing a tantrum (screaming, crying, throwing furniture, and jumping on the paper shredder, according to the police report(!)) in the principal's office.

The Milledgeville police department defended the decision. "The child was placed in handcuffs for her safety," Chief Dray Swicord told CNN.

Her relatives were a little confused about why the cops were called in in the first place. "I don't think she misbehaved to the point where she should have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department," Johnson's aunt, Candace Ruff, told WMAZ. "Call the police? Is that the first step?" Johnson's mother, Constance Ruff, added.

The school has thus far declined to comment (though they did suspend the girl until August). According to CNN, she was even, albeit briefly, set to face criminal charges:

The 6-year-old was initially charged as a juvenile with simple battery of a schoolteacher and criminal damage to property, but the police chief said at a news conference Tuesday the girl would not be charged because of her age.

Photo credit: Adrian Britton /Shutterstock

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.