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Old 04-24-2005, 03:39 AM   #1
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5-Year-Old Handcuffed

5-Year-Old Handcuffed By Florida Police On Camera

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A 5-year-old girl was handcuffed by police after she tore papers off a bulletin board and punched an assistant principal in kindergarten class, according to a video released by a lawyer for the child's mother. Caught On Camera: Images Show Girl Being Handcuffed.

The 30-minute tape shows the child appearing to calm down before three officers pinned her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs as she screamed, "No!''

The camera was rolling March 14 as part of a classroom self-improvement exercise at Fairmount Park Elementary, attorney John Trevena said.

Trevena, who provided the tape to the media this week, said he got it from police.

"The image itself will be seared into people's minds when you have three police officers bending a child over a table and forcibly handcuffing her,'' said Trevena, who represents the girl's mother, Inga Akins.

"On the day of this incident, the children were involved in a counting exercise, a math exercise," Trevena told NBC's Today Show. "Apparently the girl got upset because her jelly beans were taken away, something silly like that."

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt told the Associated Press said an investigation into the matter would be complete in about two weeks and the findings would be made public.

The Today Show asked St. Petersburg police and school district officials to appear with Trevena. Both declined that request for an interview.

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