Cellphone video shows police placing ‘spit mask’ on 12-year-old boy


Cellphone video shows police placing 'spit mask' on 12-year-old detainee

SACRAMENTO, CA (KOVR/CNN) - Cellphone video shows Sacramento police officers put a spit mask on a 12-year-old boy.

The boy's family is demanding an apology because of the incident.

Footage shows the boy being detained by officers then walked toward a squad car. The video also appears to show an officer wiping her face.

The officers then put the handcuffed-12-year-old on his stomach while another officer takes out a spit mask and places it over his head.

“It’s just every parent’s nightmare,” said LaToya Downs.

It's that spit mask that become a focus of the 12-year-old's family.

Downs said the officer's treatment of her son was degrading.

“Degrading, he was angry. He didn’t know why it was on him. It was degrading at that point and he was scared,” Downs said. “He didn’t know what to expect.”

But police had another opinion of the story.

"What we do know is that this subject spit on the face of our officer," said Vance Chandler, a spokesperson for the Sacramento Police Department.

Chandler said the police department is reviewing how officers handled the arrest and that using a spit bag - a mesh netting material - is standard operating policy.

The incident comes as Sacramento police overhaul its use-of-force policies following the shooting death of Stephon Clark.

Attorney Mark T. Harris, who works for the Ben Crump Law Firm, is handling the Clark case and this one.

"I've never heard a situation where a 12-year-old child had a bag placed over his head,” Harris said. I don’t care what you call it, a sot propulsion repulsing device, they can call it whatever they want, a bag is a bag is a bag," he said.

The police department said their officers were simply following procedures.

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