The ACLU of the Nation’s Capital on April 11 filed a federal lawsuit against MPD Officer David E. Bailey, Jr., assigned to the Seventh District. The suit says the officer for no reason assaulted a 10-year-old boy in his elementary school in Southeast D.C. 

Chante Price, on behalf of her son T.P., alleges that Officer Bailey slammed T.P.’s head into a lunch table, then picked him up by his shirt, threatened him with arrest and dropped him back into his chair.  T.P. had been talking quietly to another student while the officer was talking to a group of students about discipline.  At the time of the incident last year T.P. was 10 years old, stood 4 feet 10 inches high and weighed approximately 80 pounds.  

Ms. Price sought medical treatment for her son’s head injuries at the local emergency room.  The lawsuit alleges that T.P suffered a mild concussion as a result of Officer Bailey’s actions. The District of Columbia is also a defendant because it is legally responsible for Officer Bailey’s actions.

“This kind of force should never be used by a police officer against an unresisting child,” said Arthur Spitzer, Legal Director of the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital and one of the lawyers representing Ms. Price and T.P.  “The fact that this took place in the boy’s school makes Officer Bailey’s actions even more outrageous.”

“I believe that justice needs to be done,” Ms. Price said. “It is important to bring this lawsuit to help kids understand that they have rights and to help the police understand that kids have rights.”

The lawsuit seeks damages under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the District of Columbia. The case is Price v. Bailey, No. 13-490, and is assigned to Judge Richard W. Rogers in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. No date has been set for any court proceedings.

Press coverage of the filing is available from local television, radio and print outlets: WUSA Channel 9 (CBS), WJLA Channel 7 (ABC), WNBC Channel 4 (NBC), WTOP radio, Washington Post, and Washington Times.  The story was distributed nationwide by the Associated Press (here as published in San Francisco).