latoya harris portland oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — A year ago, two Portland police officers (Officer David McCarthy and Officer Matthew 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.

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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.

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Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said officers use handcuffs as a safeguard, and they acted according to bureau policy.

Police rules require juveniles taken into custody for any felony or serious misdemeanor charge such as the one police alleged to be fingerprinted and photographed at the forensics division, he said. It makes It makes no age distinctions.

“We really don’t think there’s circumstances where children under 10 should be taken into custody,” said Mark McKenchie, executive director of Youth, Rights & Justice, a not-for-profit law firm that serves vulnerable children.

He and Hagedon are calling for changes in city law and police rules to require a juvenile court judge’s order before police can take a child younger than 10 into custody. Children 10 and 11 could be taken into custody without a judge’s approval only for serious felonies.

The 9-year-old girl was held for an hour and released. Prosecutors didn’t take the case to trial.

The action has been reviewed by the Independent Police Review Division, overseen by Portland’s independent auditor. It found officers violated no Police Bureau policies and forwarded the complaint to the officers’ supervisors.

Last month, Harris took her story to the Citizen Review Committee, an advisory and monitoring panel that hears complaints of alleged officer misconduct against Portland police, and it agreed to hear testimony. The weekly Portland Mercury first reported Harris’ account.

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4 thoughts on “9-Year-Old Girl Handcuffed By Portland Cops

  1. Honestly on said:

    You cave n!@@ers need a check up from the neck up. These feces smelling apes will justify any insane action against Nubian men, women and children. You mayonnaise monkeys will be strangled by this tool of torture you call the law. It is an inherently racist and corrupt institution. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  2. TWO THUMBS UP 2 THE POLICE. I COULD SEE IF THEY TRIED 2 RAPE HER, BUT PUTTING HER IN HANDCUFFS SO WHAT. CLOSE YOUR LEGS IF YOU NOT GOING 2 TEACH. IT WAS NOT OVER THE TOP YOU NEED TO START PARENTING BETTER . STOP RAISING A BUUUUUUULLY

  3. americanize. on said:

    An white folk wonder why we complain so much.A day in the life of being black in America.GOD BLESS BLACK AMERICA.

    • Mac Ben on said:

      White cops did the same thing to a white kid in Washington… only made the news to show how out of control the kid was- not that cops may have done something wrong! Sometimes you might need to put a kid in cuffs…black or white. I’d bet her momma has done worse things to her!

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