A police officer in Miami has received a short suspension after taking it upon himself to introduce a rowdy five year old to “what could happen” if he kept acting up.
“I’m worried and furious,” the boy’s mother, Mari Bonilla said. “My son is traumatized.”
Officer Paul Gourrier handcuffed and threatened Eneida Harter Elementary School kindergarten student Jose Feliciano with arrest after the boy reportedly bit another student during a scuffle over a toy in February.
According to newly released internal affairs reports, Gourrier met with the child after his teacher brought him to the school counselors office, and claimed the boy had been picking on a student whom he had had trouble with before.
Feliciano reportedly continued to play around in the counselors office before Gourrier – who was at the school for a separate incident – pulled him by the ear and asked him if he knew what could happen to him if he continued to act up.
After the boy told the officer “no,” Gourrier reportedly remarked, “Let me show you. I’m going to show you what happens so that you can understand,” before walking the boy out of the office in handcuffs, where they returned two minutes later.
During that time, the officer walked the child to the front door of the school where he pointed at his police cruiser and threatened the boy with arrest if his behavior didn’t improve.
The boy’s father, Hector Feliciano, told police that the school notified him of the incident, and he told them he would discipline his son when he got home, but Gourrier unnecessarily took matters into his own hands.
“It’s not just,” Feliciano said. “I should be reprimanding my child. An officer handcuffing him is unacceptable.”
According to the internal affairs reports, Gourrier admitted to handcuffing Feliciano and to “tugging” on his ear, which prompted investigators to find the officer violated numerous departmental orders, including unnecessary force, conduct unbecoming a police officer and improperly dealing with juveniles.
The City of Miami Police Department suspended Officer Gourrier for two days without pay in June, and ordered him to undergo professionalism and ethics training.