If being held in handcuffs for 20 minutes for a crime you didn’t commit doesn’t seem bad enough, how about being held in handcuffs in front of 15 of your students?
That’s exactly what happened to Dunbar High School teacher Brandi Byrd, who took 15 history students from their school to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. recently.
As they were heading home, the group got off the train at Mount Vernon Square, Washington Metro Transit Police pushed the teacher against a wall.
While her bewildered students looked on and recorded the incident on their cell phones, Byrd found herself cuffed.
“Record this, because I haven’t done anything,” Byrd told her students as the police proceeded to manhandle her.
Metro police told her they were responding to a report of an assault, but failed to give her any further information.
“At no point,” says Byrd, “did the gentlemen who put me in handcuffs tell me why I was in handcuffs.”
Although she was held for 20 minutes, the officer only told her that she was being detained because of an active investigation. Apparently, her group of students matched the investigation’s description.
“I identified who I was,” Byrd said. “I’m a teacher. These are my students. We’re returning from a field trip.”
According to Metro officials, the teacher became “agitated and disorderly” while police attempted to figure out who the kids were; Byrd has denied being any kind of threat.
After realizing that they had stopped the wrong group, the police let Byrd and her students go.
The teacher, however, maintains that police went too far by putting her in cuffs, and that her arms are still sore where the cuffs were clamped around her wrists.
Byrd, who feels violated by the interaction, said that prior to this incident, “I’ve never been held against my will anywhere.”
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