Arrest of Tennessee children exposes flawed juvenile justice

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A Tennessee police officer tried to prevent the arrests that would embroil his department in a national furor over policing in schools, but his colleagues and supervisors refused to change course.

They insisted on arresting children as young as 9 years old at their elementary school and took them away — two in handcuffs — to a juvenile detention center as the school day came to an end.

What followed in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, was an unusually public examination of how police handle children suspected of wrongdoing.

The national furor triggered a local effort to make improvements.