Tamara Taylor, mother of the 10-year-old Black girl who was arrested last year in Hawaii after she drew a picture of her bully, is demanding justice. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (ACLU) claims that the girl’s rights were violated during the arrest.

The ACLU released a letter on Monday to the Honolulu Police Department, the state Department of Education and the state attorney general’s office with a list of demands. The letter is asking them to adopt new policies, remove the record of arrest and pay the mother and child $500,000 for emotional damages caused by their actions.

One of the changes they want made is prohibiting school staff from calling the police unless the child shows that he or she is going to cause harm to other students or staff. They also want it to be mandatory for a parent or guardian to be present when a child is being questioned by police.

The ACLU of Hawaii is calling for Honolulu Police to change their policies after they arrested the 10-year-old daughter of Tamara Taylor last year. The organization claims that the young girl was not a threat to anyone. (Credit: Shutterstock.com)
The ACLU of Hawaii is calling for Honolulu police to change their policies after they arrested the 10-year-old daughter of Tamara Taylor last year. The organization claims that the young girl was not a threat to anyone. (Credit: Shutterstock.com)

The Honolulu Police Department has since responded to the letter and said that they are reviewing it’s content and working to address these allegations from the ACLU. Neither the state department of education or the state attorney general has responded to the claims.

The arrest happened in January 2020 in Oahu, Hawaii, at Honowai Elementary School. According to reports, the young girl, referred to as N.B., had made a drawing of another student who was bullying her. The parent of the bully became very upset about the drawing and demanded that school staff call the police on the child.

Members of the Honolulu Police Department were called to the school and they allegedly arrested and handcuffed the young girl in front of her classmates. They reportedly took the girl to a separate room and interrogated her and refused to let her contact her mother or have any parent present. 

“I was stripped of my rights as a parent and my daughter was stripped of her right to protection and representation as a minor. There was no understanding of diversity, African-American culture and the history of police involvement with African-American youth. My daughter and I are traumatized from these events and I’m disheartened to know that this day will live with my daughter forever,” said Tamara Taylor.

Taylor didn’t know that her daughter had been arrested until the mother was called to the school. She was placed in a separate room away from her daughter and by the time she was allowed to see her the young girl had already been transported to the police station.

The 10-year-old girl, who suffers from ADHD, spent nearly four hours in school or police custody. She was only released to her mother after the horrific ordeal.

Since the incident, Tamara Taylor has removed her daughter from the school and the two of them have moved out of state. The mother claims that she brought up the incident with the school and police multiple times, but they never found “sufficient evidence to sustain the complaint,” according to police and school officials.

After the arrest, the young girl told her mother about the drawing. The 10-year-old girl also said that she never wanted the drawing to become public, but another classmate took it and gave it to the student before N.B. could do anything to stop them.

The ACLU is giving the elementary school and the police department until Nov. 8 to respond to their letter.