DeKalb County police wrongfully detain 11-year-old Black girl for ‘looking’ like a 16-year-old

Officers forcefully arrest 11-year-old who was misidentified as a 16-year-old suspect.

After being mistaken for a 16-year-old suspect in a crime, London Hendricks, an 11-year-old girl, was arrested on Sunday evening.

What We Know:

  • An 11-year-old Dekalb County girl was mistakenly identified in a car theft, leading to her being handcuffed and held in a police car, according to her mother.
  • The crime was on the street Cynthia Hendricks and London Hendricks lived on. London’s name was said to have been given to the officers by a neighbor after she fit the description, even though there is a five-year age difference.
  • “(The officer) placed handcuffs on my daughter, placed her in back of his police vehicle with intent to transport her to juvenile detention,” Hendricks said.
  • Once London was in the police car, officers asked about her age and the clothing she was wearing. The officers were surprised to find out she wasn’t 16 and eventually let London go. London was held inside the police car for at least ten minutes.
  • “I am beyond livid and disgusted at DeKalb County Police for, one, not bothering to ask my daughter’s age before traumatizing her, two, blatantly ignoring the fact that our surveillance cameras show that London did not exit the house whatsoever, and, three, not doing their due diligence before coming to my home to attempt to arrest my child,” Hendricks said.
  • DeKalb County Police Department said they were “not made aware of any concerns”. Hendricks stated she will be filing a complaint against the police department and hopes that a policy change will follow.

This occurrence continues a trend of Black children being perceived as several years older by police officers as well as being aggressively detained without merit.