Target: Mark McBride, Idaho Falls Chief of Police
Goal: Apologize to child whose face was slammed into the trunk of a car for no apparent reason and to his mother.
A young boy had his face slammed into the trunk of his car by a cop after the kid came back home after being reported missing, RawStory reports. In early March, the mother, Amy Olzak, discovered that her son was missing and reported his absence to the police. Ms. Olzak enlisted her friends to help find her child and they succeeded later on in the day.
What should have been a happy scene of reunion took a dark turn when police arrived at the Olzak residence. The mother told the local news agency KIDK-TV that she called police to tell them she had located her child, but that officers came to her house anyway. When they arrived, Ms Olzak reports that one officer “walked over to my son and then he put my son’s hand behind his back and like lifted him up in the air and slammed his face into the trunk of a car.” A friend and owner of the car, Courtney Beck, told KIDK-TV that there was “absolutely no reason for it.” The child was then handcuffed and taken to the hospital by police.
Amy Olzak has filed a tort claim against the police, alleging that unnecessary and excessive force was used against her son. Rather than recognizing its failure and working to ensure that such terrible scenes are not repeated, the police department seems intent on justifying its actions. In response to press inquiries, a police spokesperson focused on Idaho law, which he said allows police to arrest runaway children rather than immediately releasing them to their parents.
That issue is largely irrelevant to this case. Tell the police that, no matter the validity of an arrest, brutalizing the arrestee is never justified. Demand that the police apologize to Amy Olzak and her son.
Dear Chief Mark McBride,
The media reports a startling instance of police brutality in your city. After Amy Olzak called for police assistance in locating her missing son, their happy reunion was apparently interrupted by an officer placing the 12-year-old child in a stress position, lifting him into the air, and slamming his face into the trunk of a car.
The owner of the car, Courtney Beck told the media that there was “absolutely no reason” for that extreme use of force. The child was then reportedly handcuffed and taken to the hospital by police so that he could be treated for the chipped tooth and smashed lips he suffered at the hands of a police officer.
Rather than recognizing its failings and attempting to correct them, your department appears intent on deflecting blame. In response to press inquiries, a police spokesperson focused on Idaho law, which he said allows police to arrest runaway children rather than immediately releasing them to their parents. That law is irrelevant; no one should be brutalized by the police, regardless of the validity of their arrest.
We urge you to recognize your missteps and work to correct them. We demand an apology to Ms Olzak and her son.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: liftarn