Parents demand answers after son is handcuffed by police on school bus

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Seven-year-old Royce Hammond-Zamora, a second grader at Libby Booth Elementary School in Reno was handcuffed by police the evening of November 12.

"I got handcuffed, it hurted real bad which I didn't like it," Royce says.

Officers responded to the intersection of Center and 4th Street after the bus driver pulled over because Royce and other kids were yelling and screaming at each other.

Body camera video shows Royce yelling, screaming and threatening the other kids. He also kicked one of the officers responding.

Officers then put Royce in handcuffs until his parents arrived.

"The officers did place the child in handcuffs because of the child's behavior and ultimately the child's parents were able to respond and our officers were able to then release him to the parents at that time," Travis Warren, of the Reno Police Department, says.

Mauricio Brown, Royce's father, says he was devastated seeing his son like that.

"The way the officer belittled him by basically telling me he would not remove the cuffs because he is a safety concern-- I feel having the cuffs on a child alone is excessive force," Brown says.

Royce is a student with special needs and his parents say he does have behavioral issues. RPD says officers did not know this until his parents arrived on scene.

RPD has concluded its internal investigation and tells KOLO 8 News Now they found no wrongdoing on the officer's part.

Carol Reitz, of JUSTin Hope, watched the video and says the best thing to do in these situations is to give children time and distance.

"If you can take that child out of the environment and get him out of the way you can try to get him to deescalate that way," she says.

Reitz explains the officer's calm and even tone was helpful but the comment by another officer to hog tie the child's feet was not.

"Removing that audience, any kind of stimulation in the area I think would have been more beneficial," she says.

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