Several children between the ages of 6 and 11 were led out of a Tennessee elementary school in handcuffs Friday after video surfaced online of a schoolyard tussle, WKRN reported.
According to the local news station, the fight broke out during a pickup basketball game off-campus. After reviewing the video, police took the kids into custody at Hobgood Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and charged them with criminal responsibility for the acts of another.
Local Rev. James McCarroll, joined by outraged parents in a packed Sunday community meeting, told the Tennessean that the kids were charged for not intervening to stop the fight.
The largely black community pressed for answers from the city’s newly-minted police chief, Karl Durr, who is white. Police were reviewing the arrests, and city manager Rob Lyons told the crowd, “if something needs to be corrected, it will be.”
Zacchaeus Crawford told WKRN that three of his five children, ages 9, 10, and 11, were arrested. He said he raised his children to avoid “the system,” but they were thrust into legal trouble anyway—even though two of his kids weren’t even present at the game.
“There are innocent kids that have been arrested that have been entered in a system they have no business in,” Crawford said in an interview with the Tennessean. “This is nonsense, and it is nonsense in the fullest definition.”
Many details about the run-in remain hazy, as law enforcement officials say policies regarding juveniles bar them from releasing both the number of children booked and the video that spurred the arrests. Local media put the number of kids arrested at between 5 and 10.