10-year-old boy arrested for urinating in public was treated like an adult offender, lawyer says

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The mother of a 10-year-old Mississippi boy who was arrested after urinating behind her car is refusing to sign a probation agreement because the terms set out are of a severity typically reserved for adults, her attorney said Thursday. the family.

The 90-day probation agreement stipulated that the boy, Quantavious Eason, who is black, would have to submit to random drug testing, abide by an 8 p.m. curfew and meet with a probation officer once. per month, among other requirements, according to Carlos Moore. , Lawyer.

The boy would also be asked to write a two-page report on Kobe Bryant, Moore said.

Latonya Eason, the boy's mother, had initially agreed to probation during a hearing in Tate County Chancery Court on Dec. 12, but after reading the full terms and consulting with Mr. Moore this week, she decided against it. sign and, instead, fight. to have the charge dismissed, she said. NBC News reported on the case this week.

“This kid is not a criminal,” Moore said. “I shouldn't have to go through all this.”

The legal battle stems from an encounter Quantavious and his mother had with police on August 10 in Senatobia, Mississippi, a small town 40 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. The family, who lives in a neighboring county, believes the way police treated the boy was due to racism.

The boy was waiting for his mother in her car, which she had parked outside an office while she was in a meeting inside, Moore said.

Quantavious didn't see public bathrooms nearby, Moore said, “so he decided he couldn't wait and got out of his mother's car, opened the door, turned his back to the road and discreetly used the bathroom.”

A police officer saw the boy and approached him, Moore said, and entered the office to look for his mother, according to the attorney. Mrs. Eason scolded her son when she left, she said.

She thought the situation was over, Moore said: a slap on the wrist provided for a seemingly minor and common offense.

Four more police officers then arrived, including a lieutenant, according to Moore.

The lieutenant ordered that the boy, a third grader, be taken in a patrol car to the police station to be referred to juvenile court. At one point, he was held in a cell for up to an hour while case paperwork was processed, Moore said.

“The only thing we can point to is racism because all the officers were white and this was a black child,” Moore said.

Quantavious was charged as a juvenile for being “a child who needs supervision,” Moore said. Mississippi law allows police to refer children as young as 7 to juvenile court if they do something that would be considered illegal for an adult.

But days after the arrest, Senatobia Police Chief Richard Chandler said in a statement that the situation had been mishandled.

“Under these circumstances, it was an error in judgment on our part to transport the child to the police station, as the mother was present at the time as a reasonable alternative,” the chief said.

A week later, he announced that one of the officers involved no longer worked for the department and that the others would be disciplined. He also said the department would host department-wide youth training, “like we do every year.”

The experience continues to haunt Quantavious, who has started seeing a counselor, Moore said.

“He doesn't trust the authorities anymore,” Moore said. “He doesn't even like going to football games or sporting events where the police are now.”

Moore said he had filed a motion to dismiss the charge against Quantavious and a court hearing had been set for Jan. 16.

“Probation is too much for what this guy did,” Moore said. “We don't want him to become acclimated to the criminal justice system.”

If the motion is denied, he said, the family plans to take the case to trial.

“We believe it has been proven that this was an unjust arrest,” Moore said. “That's why people were disciplined. That is why I am surprised that the prosecutor continues to push this case.”

Calls and emails to the Senatobia Police Department and the prosecutor handling the case were not immediately returned.

Aside from the juvenile court battle, the Easons plan to sue the city and police department in both federal and state courts, he added.

Sheelagh McNeill contributed to the research.



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