Community leaders claimed the boy was mistreated by police because he comes from a community of color, and due to a ‘lack of training’ for NYPD officers
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
By Joe Kemp and Kerry Wills
A throng of protesters Friday marched on a Bronx police station where a 7-year-old boy was handcuffed after allegedly mugging a classmate.
“Enough is enough — this is where it ends,” said Rev. Que English of the Bronx Clergy Roundtable, as about 60 demonstrators descended on the front doors of the 44th Precinct stationhouse to protest what they describe as irrational police tactics.
“What needs to happen is changes to our procedures that create the cessation of this practice … There is no justification for their actions.”
The protesters blasted cops’ treatment of third-grader Wilson Ramos, who was cuffed and held for about six hours inside the Morris Heights stationhouse after the mother of 9-year-old Seth Acevado called police to report that Wilson attacked her son.
Wilson allegedly punched Seth in the December incident and swiped $5 from him, police sources said.
Cops went to Public School 114 on Cromwell Ave. four days later and collared Ramos before bringing him back to the stationhouse, where they handcuff him to a wall.
Wilson’s mother, Frances Mendez, was able to snap a cell phone picture of her handcuffed son — and hired an attorney to file a $250 million lawsuit against the city and the NYPD.
The family’s suit claims the police went too far.
And the demonstrators — who carried signs that read “Stop treating us like criminals” and “Bullying a 7-year- old does not teach him to stop bullying” — seemed to agree.
Some clergy members believe the 4-foot-7, 75-pound Wilson was restrained only because he lives in a community of color.
“We think this was wrong, and it’s symbolic of the culture that permeates in the police department,” said the Rev. Raymond Rivera. “It reflects a lack of training, a lack of sensitivity, a lack of options … it’s just an overall culture that says if you’re in communities of color, if you’re in the hood, people can be treated different.”
The city’s controller, John Liu, said police should consider different options when facing crimes committed by children.
“Sometimes kids get into trouble and we do have an ongoing bullying problem that’s happening in our schools,” Liu said. “But the way to deal with that is not by having the police come into the school and cuff these little kids and dragging them to the precinct and detaining them for hours.”
Wilson’s alleged victim defended the police.
“[Wilson] deserved to be cuffed,” Seth told the Daily News on Wednesday. “He acts like an animal … People are trying to say, ‘Poor Wilson,’ but he’s nothing but a big bully.”
Seth’s mother, Janet Ramos, said her son has been tormented by Wilson since the beginning of the school year.
“I would have handcuffed him, too,” she told the News.