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A Mississippi police officer has lost his job after arresting a 10-year-old boy earlier this month for urinating outside.
The Senatobia Police Department announced the decision Wednesday but did not disclose the name of the officer who was axed.
“This incident triggered an internal complaint and was investigated according to our procedures,” Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler wrote of the August 10 arrest. “As a result of this investigation, one of our officers involved is no longer employed, and the others will be disciplined.”
The boy’s mother, Latonya Eason, posted a photo online of her son in the back seat of a squad car, which quickly went viral and sparked national outrage.
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Police arrested a 10-year-old boy on August 10 for peeing behind his mom’s car in Senatobia, Mississippi. (Latonya Eason/Facebook)
“Treating that 10-year-old boy that way was horrendous, disgraceful and inhumane,” Elizabeth Bryan wrote on Facebook.
“Oh, what a stupid cop,” Martine Stonebridge chimed in.
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Eason told FOX 13 that she was stunned.
“Why would you arrest a 10-year-old? I started crying a little bit,” she said.
Eason was meeting with an attorney and was parked outside his office in Senatobia, about 40 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee, when her son had to go to the bathroom.
A 10-year-old boy was detained in a cell at the Senatobia Police Department in Mississippi for peeing outside. The officer who made the arrest has since been fired, according to the police chief. (Google Maps)
He stepped out and peed behind the car. An officer called Eason and told her he’d caught the boy urinating in public.
“I was like, ‘Son, why did you do that?’ He said, ‘Mom, my sister said they don’t have a bathroom there,’ I was like, ‘You knew better, you should have come and asked me if they had a restroom,’” Eason recalled of her exchange with her son.
The officer told her he was going to give her a warning, and the boy could get back in the car. But other cops showed up moments later, and a lieutenant told her the boy had to go to jail.
They took him to the police station and detained him in a cell before releasing him with a referral to youth court, she said.
Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler announced on Facebook Wednesday the firing of an officer who arrested a 10-year-old boy for peeing outside. (Facebook)
“That could really traumatize my baby. My baby could get to the point where he won’t want to have an encounter with the police period,” Eason told the local station.
A GoFundMe account for the child and his family has raised $5,525.
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The page says that the arrest occurred while Eason was seeking guidance from a lawyer on how to enroll her children in school without a permanent address.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to [email protected] and @ReRosenberg.