What A Murfreesboro Police Review Says About Hobgood Elementary Arrests

May 5, 2016

Murfreesboro Police have a list of concerns stemming from the arrests of elementary school students last month. The department has released an incident review.

The six-page narrative — which includes some redacted elements — focuses on how the children at Hobgood Elementary ended up being arrested and not why they were charged. Their parents say they were accused of failing to stop a neighborhood fight.

The details are a bit different than original reports. There were four kids taken into custody, not 10. They were ages 9 to 11. And only two of them were handcuffed. They were all transported in cop cars then released to their parents.

From the accounts provided by police, it’s clear there was quite a bit of planning. Even the afternoon before the arrests, officers were talking with the principal, who questioned the need for arrests at school. If it had to be that way, school officials suggested coming well before release time, in order to avoid embarrassment for the kids.

The Murfreesboro Police Department has identified some areas that need improvement — assessing the urgency for an arrest, communicating with school-based officers and rethinking a requirement that juvenile suspects be arrested and not just cited and released.

The situation seemed to be emotional for the officers involved. One called his supervisor after making the arrests and said he was considering whether to resign in protest.

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