Montgomery County Police Officers Dionne Holliday and Kevin Christmon are being sued along with the county for their abuse of a 5 year old black boy. The abuse took place last year, but the body camera footage was not released until this past week. We have embedded the full 50 plus minute video below this article. We will be referring to timestamps in that video in our our analysis. To sum it up, Officers Holliday and Christmon put a 5 year old boy in the backseat of a patrol car after the boy left East Silver Springs Elementary School not wanting to go to school anymore, took him back to school, recommended to the boy's mother that she start beating the boy at home to teach him to obey her, and eventually handcuffed the boy as part of what appeared to be a sort of "scared straight" tactic.
The video below was taken from the body camera of Officer Kevin Christmon. He begins by yelling at the boy before placing him in the backseat of his patrol car, taking the boy back to school, failing to intervene when Officer Dionne Holliday told the boy's mother to beat her child, encouraging the mother to beat the boy herself, and eventually putting the boy in handcuffs. At 1:00 he starts off asking the boy his age and scolding him "I don't care you don't want to go to school, you don't have that choice." Eventually he puts the boy in his patrol car and drives him back to school. At 39:15 he put the boy in handcuffs. At 48:55 he tells the mother "you can beat your child in Montgomery County, Maryland, just don't leave no cuts or no crazy cigarette burns, or nothing like that we good."
Officer Dionne Holliday is the female officer featured in the video below. At 6:39 she can be heard saying "this is why people need to beat their kids." She repeats her belief that parents need to beat their kids several times and conveys that belief to the boy's mother like an instruction. The fact that she stated her opinion and repeated it to the mother like instructions many times show that this was not just a minor slip of the tongue. Holliday clearly believes that parents should beat their children to make them do as they are told. We hope that she does not have kids of her own because she says that she would beat the boy if she were his mother more than once. At 42:38 she says to the boy directly in front of his mother, "I do hope she does beat you when you go home because you deserve it so much for your actions today."
At about 30:00 both officers sat down with the boy's mother, Shanta Grant, and spoke to her at length about how to discipline a child. At 31:30 they tried to coach Grant how to beat her son and get away with it. They explained what she can and cannot say to avoid getting into trouble for abusing her son. Their basic message was that she is free to do to her son as she wishes as long as she does not admit doing certain things. It is not appropriate for anyone, let alone uniformed police officers, to encourage anyone to physically abuse children.
We identified the officers from court documents which are being uploaded as a PDF with this article. We had scanned several news stories about this in which their names were not present. That is typical in cases like this when journalists don't want to piss off the cops by saying their names. When we were able to Google them we were pleasantly surprised to see a good number of media outlets that did say their names. We just had the misfortune of not stumbling on those articles until after tracking down the court record. We wish more journalists would save us the time and follow suit.
According to public records, Dionne Holliday is a 47 year old resident of Silver Springs, Maryland who was charged with bad check larceny in 2008, but those charges were dismissed. In 2012 she was found guilty in absentia for failing to obey a highway sign. In 2002 she was cited for speeding. She is a registered democrat.
According to public records, Officer Kevin Darnell Christmon Jr. is a 32 year old resident of Jefferson, Maryland who also owns property in Michigan where he appears to be from. Christmon can be heard at about 24:55 claiming to have been beaten by family members as a child on a regular basis. His only priors are two traffic citations. He appears to be associated with the Grater Harvest Community Development Association.
Both officers are still gainfully employed by the MCPD despite an internal investigation.