Violation of Civil Rights?

After the blizzard of e-mails you all sent about the 5-year-old in Florida being handcuffed by police, I figure you'll be intrigued to hear that Rev. Al Sharpton (search) is now getting involved. Footage of the girl throwing a tantrum then getting cuffed has literally caused a worldwide sensation — it has aired all the way from the US to Asia. Now the girl's mom is pulling the child out of the Pinellas County, Florida (search) school system and moving to another state. So why is Sharpton thinking of weighing in? Here's the quote from his spokeswoman: "Instantly he felt that it smelled bad, but he wants to research it first... It could be a case of police brutality or a case of her civil rights being violated."

After we first aired this story, many of you in law enforcement wrote in to "DaySide" saying that the officers on the video were strictly following protocol and were restraining the girl to prevent injury to herself or others. So I'm not sure where Sharpton thinks there was brutality. As for her civil rights being violated, what do you think of that? We'll have more on this story tomorrow, and I'd like to include your comments; so email me at

By the way, it's now being reported that this girl did have a history of problems at her school, though we don't know specifics because student records aren't public. We do know, though, that there's been an ongoing feud between the student's mom and the school over her treatment. We also know that city police had to be called to the school several weeks before the handcuffing incident because of a behavior problem with the girl; at that point an officer apparently told the mom that if her behavior continued, she might have to be handcuffed.

That's it for the blog Tuesday — shorter than usual due to a shortage of pithy subjects!

See you on the air.


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