Target: Inspector Kim Royster
Goal: Demand the New York Police Department apologize for handcuffing and interrogating a 7-year-old child for several hours after he was falsely accused of taking $5.
Seven-year-old Wilson Reyes was taken from his school playground by the NYPD after he was falsely accused of taking $5 from another student. The school called police who took the boy out of class and took him to the police station in handcuffs where he was shackled to a chair and interrogated for 10 hours. Sign the petition to condemn the NYPD for their egregious behavior toward Wilson and demand they apologize.
What began as a simple playground incident quickly escalated following the NYPD overreaction. Officers showed up at the Bronx school on December 4th at 10:20 am. They handcuffed Reyes, took him to a room on school premises, and held him there for 4 hours. Both the school and the police failed to inform his mother that he was being interrogated or held, as the law requires for juveniles. Wilson was then taken to the police station and held there for another 6 hours where he was subjected to interrogation, verbal and emotional abuse. He continually protested his innocence but the officers were unconvinced and charged him with robbery. When his mother Frances Mendez went with her sister to the station house, at first they were told they would not be allowed to see the child.
When Mendez was finally allowed to see her son, he was extremely upset, “My son was crying, ‘Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’ I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized.” Later a classmate confessed to taking the money and the robbery charge against Wilson was dropped. A case has been filed against the NYPD seeking $250 million in damages. The NYPD continues to deny any wrongdoing on its part. Sign the petition to demand the police apologize for their treatment of Wilson.
Dear Inspector Kim Royster,
I am writing as a concerned citizen and human rights activist to condemn your appalling treatment of 7-year-old Wilson Reyes. It is shocking that the NYPD would think that it was reasonable to handcuff and interrogate a child for 10 hours without his mother present. What the NYPD did was in violation of state law and beyond the bounds of common sense and decency. What makes the actions of the NYPD even more egregious was that it was later discovered that a classmate had taken the money.
The heavy-handed overbearing actions of the NYPD traumatized a child over something that should have been better handled by the school. You stated that you believe the NYPD did not act wrongly. I ask that you reconsider and apologize for the behavior of the officers. Citizens in a democracy, particularly children have reason to expect better treatment from the police.
I hope you consider my thoughts.
[Your Name Here]