DETROIT (WXYZ) - He was handcuffed, put in a squad car, and spent the night behind bars. But at 11-years-old, some say Detroit Police officers handled their young suspect with excessive force.
Now, the boy's family is taking legal action.
Ti-Yay Nelson says it all unfolded Sunday morning just outside his home. Detroit Police wanted to know whether the boy knew about a stolen TV from a home invasion several blocks away. Another child who admitted to breaking into the home told police Nelson was also involved,
But Krystal Williams says her son was asleep at the time of the overnight crime. Mother and son say that didn’t stop officers from putting the 11-year-old in handcuffs, placing him in the back of the squad car and hauling him off.
Nelson spent the night in police custody, as investigators tried to determine whether he played a part in the home invasion. The next day, all charges against Nelson were dismissed.
Nelson and his mother are now pursuing legal action against DPD, accusing officers of using excessive force.
“I had a panic attack because they tried to accuse me of something I didn’t do." said Nelson, "And then they went and tried to make me tell on myself. But I told them I didn’t do it.”
“And then the police officers, they were so rude," said Williams, "They were like, ‘We don’t need a search warrant, we can come to your house.'”
In a statement, Detroit Police says it had the legal right to do so, The statement reads:
Officers had mitigating evidence which led them to believe that the two juveniles were in fact responsible for this home invasion. This gave the officers probable cause to detain both youths in connection with this crime.
Nelson's attorney, Karri Mitchell disagrees saying, “That’s why half the city is bankrupt now, because you've got dumb DPD officers that are doing things like this when it didn’t have to go there.”
DPD’s statement goes on to say the actions of the officers were in accordance with the law and with department procedures. But for now, this case remains under investigation.