PRESS RELEASE: Flint Police Chief James Tolbert Addresses Incident at Brownell Elementary School

Flint, Michigan – October 30, 2015 – The following statement from Police Chief James Tolbert is in regards to an incident that happened at Brownell Elementary School.

“The City of Flint Police Department takes pride in its commitment to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, especially children. On October 12, 2015, an officer was dispatched to Brownell Stem Academy in response to an urgent call for immediate assistance with a child who appeared intent on injuring himself, as well as repeatedly assaulting others. The officer used handcuffs to restrain the child to prevent injury to the child or others. That action is being carefully reviewed. The city will publicly release the results of its investigation upon completion.

“Additionally we have initiated and scheduled training for all officers in de-escalation and communications specifically geared to children. I have apologized to the mother for this situation and assured her that we will protect the integrity of this investigation and will be transparent in our finding. It is our model to engage children in a positive light that will foster trust and respect, this incident does not reflect positively on that model. It should also be said that this should not reflect negatively in any way on the Youth Quest program, Flint Community Schools or the Crim Foundation as they do not supervise Police personnel.”

-James W. Tolbert
Chief of Police, City of Flint

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