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.