A 12-year-old schoolgirl handcuffed and arrested in February for doodling on her desk plans to sue New York City. A lawyer for Alexa Gonzalez and her mother officially notified the city that they'll seek $1 million in damages.
The legal papers describe Alexa's ordeal as an excessive use of force and a violation of her rights. "We want to stop this from happening to other young children in the future," said the family's lawyer, Joseph Rosenthal.
Using an erasable lime-green marker, Alexa scribbled the message "I love my friends Abby and Faith," Alexa's mom, Moraima Camacho, told the New York Daily News back in February.
The notice filed against the city education department and the NYPD claims Alexa was subjected to harsh treatment by school employees even before her arrest. She was "physically dragged by a teacher and an assistant principal" to the dean's office, the legal papers claim.
School safety officers searched her by placing "their hands inside the rear and front pockets of her jeans." Despite the fact that officers "knew, or should have known that it was a soluable, erasable marker," police officers were summoned to arrest her, the papers note.
Alexa was perp-walked out of the school in front of her classmates with her hands locked in handcuffs behind her back. Alexa's mother pleaded with the officers to accompany her daughter to the police precinct, but Camacho was told to go home and wait for a call.
Officers placed Alexa in "an enclosed room" at the precinct and handcuffed her to a pole for more than two hours, the papers note.
City lawyers declined to comment, but city officials acknowledged in February that the arrest was a mistake.