When you live in one of the biggest cities in the world it’s comforting to know that a force of elite police professionals is always just a moment away, ready to spring on the scene wherever crime is being done. For instance, if you’re a first or second-grader and a classmate allegedly swipes $5 from you on the playground, it’s nice to know the NYPD will swoop in and pull another child off the playground, bring him downtown, cuff him, and interrogate him for hours to find out what happened to that 5 dollars.
Which is exactly what happened to 7 year-old Wilson Reyes last month.
The crime in question involved 5 dollars that was supposed to be used on a school trip that was cancelled. While playing with some classmates, the $5 fell on the ground in front of Reyes and two other boys. One of the boys pocketed the $5, and soon two NYPD officers showed up at PS X114. Reyes was accused of having taken the $5, and the cops took him to a room where they handcuffed him and interrogated him for 4 hours. When the tough-as-nails Reyes wouldn’t crack, they brought him to the station where they handcuffed him again and interrogated him, not sparing the verbal abuse, for another 6 hours.
And after all that, they got the wrong guy. “Another classmate later admitted the theft,” writes NY Post.
Reyes’ mother Frances Mendez has filed a $250 million dollar claim against the department.
NYPD insists they’re not in the wrong: “The kid came into the precinct a little bit after 3 p.m., and he was out by 7:45 p.m. That’s standard for a juvenile arrest,” an NYPD source told NY Post.