A Mississippi judge ordered that a 10-year-old Black child who urinated in a parking lot must serve three months’ probation and write a two-page book report on Kobe Bryant, The Guardian reports. Tate County youth court judge Rusty Harlow handed down the sentence Tuesday after the child’s lawyer reached an agreement with a special prosecutor. The prosecution threatened to upgrade the charge of “child in need of supervision” to a more serious charge of disorderly conduct if the boy’s family took the case to trial. The child’s mother has said her son urinated behind her vehicle while she was visiting a lawyer’s office in Senatobia, Miss. Police officers in the town of 8,100 residents saw the child urinating and arrested him. Officers put him in a squad car and took him to the police station.
Senatobia police chief Richard Chandler said the child was not handcuffed, but his mother said he was put in a jail cell. Days after the episode, Chandler said the officers violated their training on how to deal with children. He said one of the officers who took part in the arrest was “ no longer employed”, and other officers would be disciplined. He didn’t specify whether the former officer was fired or quit, or what type of discipline the others would face. Carlos Moore, the child’s attorney, said he had planned on going to trial, but shifted strategy after prosecutors threatened to upgrade the charges and the child’s family chose to accept the probation sentence because it would not appear on the boy’s criminal record. Moore said he doesn’t believe a white child would have been arrested under similar circumstances.