North Carolina just arrested a 6-year-old boy for picking a flower. And not only that, but they made him appear in court! Because his mother was unavailable for the intake meeting, he was on his own – with his attorney and a coloring book.
North Carolina has the lowest minimum age in the WORLD for trying a child for a crime: 6 years old. Read that again!
According to attorney Lyana Hunter, this minimum needs to go. “The earlier that you introduce a child to the criminal justice system,” she said, “the higher the chances are that they will remain [there].”
As wild as this story is, this is nothing new. The criminal legal system isn’t interested in the humanity of our children. So much so that we reported on two other 6-year-old children’s arrests in 2019, too. And we still feel the same.
It’s an outrageous idea to arrest a child who is still at the age of playing with toys and fumbling with coloring books. We MUST protect our children. But, at what age SHOULD the cut off be? At what age is it acceptable to incarcerate a child?
Perhaps there is a deeper issue here – a system that believes it’s okay to arrest a child is so deeply abusive it needs to be thrown out altogether.