To post a very mild rebuttal:
I read the article. Apparently this is not the 9 year-old's first "incident", at least from what I read on CNN's version of it. The police didn't abuse or hurt her. Knowing how I'd have been disciplined as a kid for stealing another child's property, is it so bad to use a mild scare tactic intended to teach a child not to do it again?
I think that most versions of this were overdramatized in a way that makes the police look either foolish, or overbearing. I doubt very much that it went down that way.
P.S. VEFF, in response to your original post, double standards can sometimes happen mainly because one police department in one municipality/county/etc. isn't the same as one five states away. No, it isn't necessarily right or fair, but I think the law has gotten too complex in some ways, too much for each police officer to know every single reg. That, along with a wide variance in how judges see their role in law enforement (literal interpretation vs. social agenda) and this is just too complex a problem to address in one post.
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