Police Officers Who Handcuffed

Kindergartner Won't Be Punished

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Police officers committed an error in judgment when they handcuffed an unruly kindergartner at school in March but did not violate policy, the department's chief said Thursday.

Chief Chuck Harmon said the two officers who handcuffed the 5-year-old girl were reprimanded for minor errors in handling the situation, which gained worldwide attention when a videotape of the confrontation was released to broadcasters.

But he said the officers were not punished for shackling the child, who had torn up a classroom and hit an assistant principal before the officers arrived. Still, Harmon said, the officers should have done more investigating, explored ways to defuse the situation and allowed school officials to take the lead in handling it.

A call to the attorneys of Inga Akins, the girl's mother, was not immediately returned.

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-- From News Services