MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee police chief has apologized after his officers arrested 10 elementary school students, some of whom were handcuffed, in a bullying and assault case.
Murfreesboro Police Chief Karl Durr’s apology came after angry parents demanded action during a community meeting following the arrests at Hobgood Elementary School and other locations on April 15. It wasn’t clear exactly how many students were handcuffed.
The chief told The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1T8LAWM) he was “so sorry this incident happened” and he thinks it could have been avoided.
Durr reiterated that an internal review is ongoing. He said the department would also review its handcuffing policy, which currently says officers should “take into consideration” whether to handcuff children under 12.
Durr, who started as chief on April 4, said at least one child involved in the bullying case is also involved in a larger criminal investigation.
“Remember there was a victim here too, so if my officer didn’t do their job that day, and we ignored the victim, what would this conversation be today?” Durr said. “That we failed to do our job.”
Records show that the children were charged with “criminal responsibility for conduct of another,” after allegedly witnessing and fight and not intervening.
The newspaper reports there are no plans to dismiss the charges.
Durr said the review would determine whether any policies had been broken or whether any new policies or training are warranted.
“I want to believe what happened here was an anomaly, because of the good work that I see,” Durr said. “Errors were made, and now we are going to correct them moving forward and fix them so they are not repeated.”