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Mother says family still traumatized after 12-year-old son detained by Sacramento PD with 'spit hood'

"I just want the people to know that we are still traumatized. Nothing is going to take that memory away."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The mother of a 12-year-old boy detained for spitting on a Sacramento police officer is speaking out about the family's well being after the incident. 

The boy was arrested on April 28, 2019, in Del Paso Heights and officers said they placed the spit hood over his head for protection after he allegedly spit on them. The Sacramento Police Department now face a federal lawsuit for the incident.

"I just want the people to know that we are still traumatized. Nothing is going to take that memory away," said Latoya Down, mother of the boy who was detained.

Down says this all could have been avoided given the boy was accused of panhandling. The family denies he was doing anything wrong. In ABC10's first story of the incident, it was reported the boy was cited for battery on an officer and resisting police.

"And my son said well I need to speak to my mother…please call my mother," Down said, who feels the events that followed were a result of her son acting out of fear.

When police released body cam footage, a spitting sound is heard and a female officer is heard saying, "That’s f------ it, he just spit on me” and the boy responds, “Yeah I spit on your b---- a--. How you like that s---?”

"When I came on the scene I asked the officer to remove the bag," Down said. "And Isaiah was saying he couldn't breathe when they had cops on his back to try to get him in the car."


The Sacramento Police Department does not comment on pending litigation, but back in October 2020, they released a statement about the incident saying it was a priority of the department's to release the video to the community. 

"We concluded that the involved officers acted appropriately to defuse the situation,"  the Sacramento Police Department statement said.

The family attorney does not plan to stop at the lawsuit. They are now pushing legislation that would ban the use of spit hoods on juveniles of a certain age yet to be determined.

Continue the conversation with Chris Thomas on Facebook.


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12 year old arrested, hood put over his head | Raw Officer Body Cam

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