An 11-year-old Black boy was attacked by police on "Kids Day" at the California State Fair, Black Lives Matter Sacramento says.
On Monday (August 1), Calls for justice and policy change were heard at a news conference with BLM Sacramento, the Greater Sacramento National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the family of 11-year-old Elijah Hunter, who they said was "brutally attacked" and had "his rights violated by Cal Expo police" while at the fair with family and friends.
Cal Expo police spokesperson Darla Givens told KCRA that Hunter suffered a small cut when he was stopped by police for attempting to steal from vendors and climb a fence.
However, according to BLM Sacramento per NBC News, Hunter "was horse playing while in line, while they all pretended to be cutting in front of each other."
"Elijah [Hunter] was tackled by police and his friends were not. Elijah [Hunter] is Black and his friends are white," a BLM Sacramento spokeswoman said.
The 11-year-old was then taken to an interrogation room alone and forced to sign a trespassing document that banned him from the fair, according to the spokeswoman.
"There is no amount of horseplay that validates grown police officers to tackle and beat a child," BLM Sacramento said.
Cynthia Martin, Hunter's mother, said during Monday's news conference that his shirt was covered in blood after police attacked him.
“They knew that they injured him because they provided the first-aid before we even made it to Kaiser hospital, where he received further treatment,” Martin said.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento is calling for the officers to be fired and charged with child abuse.
The cops who allegedly tackled Hunter work for the fair's police detail and are off-duty officers for other departments.
According to NBC News, it is not yet clear which departments they were hired from.
An attorney hired by the family is in the process of filing a lawsuit, per BLM Sacramento.
"The violence inflicted on 11-year-old Elijah is appalling and has impacted him physically and emotionally," the organization said in a statement. "There is no reason for a mostly idle police department to treat a child as a criminal."