MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Parents in Tennessee are outraged after they claim their elementary age children were arrested at school.
There was a heated discussion inside First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro Sunday. It was standing room only with city leaders and concerned neighbors claiming a handful of kids at Hobgood Elementary had fallen victim.
Parents expressed anger, some claiming their young kids were handcuffed and others said they were not notified of their children’s arrests.
“I have a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old who was arrested last Friday for a crime they wasn’t even at,” a mother stated at the podium.
Zacchaeus Crawford told 22News’ Nashville sister station News 2 his three children ages 9, 10 and 11 were booked into the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center Friday.
“Three people, three kids all having to be arrested, all having to be processed entered into the system and they didn’t do anything.”
Crawford told News 2 it was a video of a scuffle that sparked the move, and only one of his kids was there as a bystander.
“They are getting carted off and being detained for something they didn’t have anything to do with. My anger Is not just festering. I’m not going to lie to you, my anger is over boiling,” he stated to the crowd.
Officer Christopher Williams, who was on site during the time of the arrest, apologized to the families.
“On behalf of myself and so many others, I’m sorry. I apologize,” he said from the podium.
He went on to explain what happened to the children broke his heart.
“My wife has seen me cry twice. She saw me once when my grandfather died, and she saw me cry Friday. The principal shed tears, the vice principal shed tears, and the office staff shed tears,” Officer Williams explained.
Dozens expressed anger and asked the Murfreesboro Police Chief for answers.
“I’m sorry for the new police chief because you came into a fireball. And when I say fireball, hell is about to break loose if you do not get a handle on this,” one man stated from the crowd.
Chief Karl Durr told the community he will be investigating to see if what police did was legal and or necessary.
“We will take a look at this and say how can we do things better? How did we error and what can we do different next time?”
Chief Durr assured the crowd that he will be meeting with his command staff first thing Monday to talk about how the situation was handled.
News 2 spoke with an official of Hobgood Elementary who said the school has no comment at this time.