FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga - A Forsyth County father is outraged a school resource officer handcuffed his 11-year-old special needs son while at school.
The Gainesville Police Department says their officer was following procedure.
"I think it's got to be extreme cases that an 11-year-old would end up in handcuffs,” John Brock told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
Brock says his son, Stiegel Brock, was handcuffed at school in February. The fifth grader has been diagnosed with autism disorder. His father says he suffers from an emotional disorder and is prone to outbursts.
It's the reason Stiegel attends the Alpine Program, a regional special needs program housed in a Gainesville elementary school.
Brock says Steigel has been restrained before, but never before with handcuffs.
In February, Brock says, a Gainesville police school resource officer claimed Steigel kicked him during one of his episodes.
School cameras recorded the incident. Brock says he watched it along with a team of program administrators.
Following that meeting, a school incident report reads, "Stiegel was not seen kicking the police officer."
“My biggest concern is the excessive use of force on an 11-year-old, especially an 11-year-old who it's been determined has special needs,” Brock said.
The Gainesville Police Department emailed Channel 2 Action News saying it completed an internal investigation.
"The investigation determined the complaint was unfounded and that the officer had acted appropriately in handling the situation. The complainant was notified that the investigation was closed and that his allegations were determined to be unfounded,” wrote spokesman Kevin Holbrook.
“Hopefully no other kids will be treated this way whether they have a disability or not,” Brock said.
Gainesville police issued a statement to Kavanaugh on Monday.
"The Gainesville Police Department did initiate an internal investigation into the actions of one of its officers resulting from a complaint filed by the father of a student. The Department conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations. The investigation determined the complaint was unfounded and that the officer had acted appropriately in handling the situation. The complainant was notified that the investigation was closed and that his allegations were determined to be unfounded," the statement said.
The Alpine Program referred Kavanaugh to its parent program, Pioneer RESA. Pioneer RESA says it has been advised by legal counsel not to comment at this time, but it cautioned there are two sides to every story.
Channel 2 Action News placed an open records request for a copy of the Police Department's internal investigation and the video of the incident.
Stay with Channel 2 Action News throughout the week for updates on this story.
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