Children as young as 5 years old are being handcuffed and removed from New York’s schools by the police

police officer in school
A Portland police officer talks to students in the Portland High School hallway in November 2019.

  • The number of students removed from New York City schools has increased, a new report finds.
  • The report also uncovered that Black, Latinx, and disabled students are disproportionally affected.
  • Black and Latinx students accounted for 92% of all interventions between 2016 and 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The number of police interventions in New York City public schools has risen with Black students and students with severe disabilities disproportionally removed from classrooms, a new report has uncovered.

The report, which was published this week by Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), an education nonprofit organization, analyzed 12,000 incidents described by the NYPD as “child in crisis interventions” where a student is removed from a classroom or school to be transported to a hospital for a psychological evaluation between 2016 and 2020.

According to the data, the number of interventions increased by 24% in the first three quarters of the 2019-2020 school year.

Around 10 percent of these students in crisis were handcuffed, including numerous instances where children under the age of 13, including five, six, and seven-year-olds, were handcuffed before they were forcibly removed from a classroom for evaluation.

“Five-, six-, seven-year-olds getting handcuffed in school. Very, very troubling,” Dawn Yuster, director of the School Justice Project at Advocates for Children, told Spectrum News NY1. “I, personally, professionally have represented clients as young as eight years old, who has been handcuffed in school – and I will never forget the day that I got a call from a parent when his child was transported to the hospital.”

She added: “It only exacerbates the problems that already exist. It does absolutely nothing to change the behavior, improve the behavior, and it further alienates the family from the school.”

The data also revealed that Black students – particularly young Black boys – and students with disabilities attending District 75 school, which provides specialized support for students with disabilities, are over-represented in the population of students who police officers removed.

Between July 2018 and March 2020, 26.7% of all interventions involved Black boys, who were just 13% of the public school population. Similarly, Black girls comprised 20% of all interventions despite accounting for only 12% of enrollment.

In total, Black and Latinx students – who make up two-thirds of the student population-accounted for 92% of all interventions. And all 33 children between the ages of five and seven who were handcuffed were students of color, according to the report.

Campaigners are now calling on the city to implement a new strategy that can reduce school interventions. The AFC recommends that schools no longer call the police or emergency medical services to take students to the hospital when it is not medically necessary. The organization also called for the introduction of a new bill that would significantly limit the NYPD’s ability to handcuff students.

“Students in emotional crisis need emotional support; they don’t need to be criminalized and handcuffed,” Kim Sweet, AFC’s Executive Director, said. “As a city, we need to start treating all students as we want our own children to be treated.”

In response, a Department of Education spokesperson said: “Creating schools that are safe and welcoming for all students is at the core of this Administration’s work, and we have made important changes to drive record decreases in police interventions, arrests, suspensions, and the system-wide adoption of restorative justice practices.

“All students must return to healing-centered schools this fall, and we are hiring over 500 new social workers and adding over 100 more community schools to ensure every student has a caring adult to go to when in crisis.”

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Former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton says he ‘can’t understand’ how Rudy Giuliani became ‘subsumed by Trump’

rudy giuliani
Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton in 1995.

  • Bratton said Giuliani has “made a caricature of himself” due to his close ties to Trump.
  • “I can’t understand how he allowed himself to be subsumed by Trump,” Bratton said.
  • Bratton served as Giuliani’s police commissioner from January 1994 to April 1996.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former New York Police Department commissioner William “Bill” Bratton said in a recent interview that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has “made a caricature of himself” by his close association with former President Donald Trump.

In a conversation with New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd, Bratton remarked that Giuliani, a former lawyer for Trump, has diminished his legacy with his public appearances over the past few years.

“As somebody who’s got a big ego, speaking about another guy with a big ego, I can’t understand how he allowed himself to be subsumed by Trump,” Bratton said. “He’s made a caricature of himself and he’s lost the image of America’s mayor because of the antics of the last two or three years.”

Bratton served as police commissioner from January 1994 to April 1996 under Giuliani’s mayoralty and again from January 2014 to September 2016 under current Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Throughout much of the 1990s, New York City battled high rates of violent crime.

In 1994, the first year that Bratton took over as commissioner, there were 1,561 homicides in the city, according to The Village Voice. The following year, there were 1,177 homicides in the city.

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

Bratton describes the fight to reign in crime as trying to “take back a city that was out of control.”

After Bratton was featured on the cover of Time magazine in January 1996, with the periodical noting that he was “a leading advocate of community policing,” his relationship with Giuliani soured.

In March 1996, Bratton announced that he would resign from his post the next month.

Bratton also told the Times that Giuliani “had such awful relations with the Black community and the Black leadership, it really prevented police commissioners, myself included, from developing relationships that we would love to have made with the Black community.”

Giuliani, who in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential campaign traveled the country in an attempt to overturn the election results through a series of unsuccessful lawsuits, made numerous media appearances that were nothing short of bizarre to most observers.

In January, Dominion Voting Systems sued Giuliani for $1.3 billion, alleging that the former federal prosecutor pushed debunked conspiracy theories that the company produced faulty election results in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

Giuliani sought to dismiss the lawsuit in April, but Dominion responded the next month, asking the judge to bring the case to trial.

In late April, the FBI searched Giuliani’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office in Manhattan, seizing cellphones and computers as part of an investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, according to The New York Times.

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