LA PORTE, Texas — Thanks to YouTube, which has helped a video clip produced by a local T.V. station go viral, the nation is hearing the story of a mom who was arrested for letting her kids play outside.
The police officer who arrested Tammy Cooper said he received a call that her children were playing in the street unsupervised. Cooper said she was sitting in a chair on her porch a few feet away at the time.
After reviewing the details of the case, the Harris County District Attorney dropped the charges, but that didn’t prevent Cooper from spending a night in jail. And now, the La Porte mom is suing the police department.
According to KPRC, Cooper said her children, ages 9 and 6, were riding their motorized scooters in a cul-de-sac when the officer arrived. At that point, she was informed a neighbor had accused her of child endangerment.
Cooper said she was handcuffed, put in the back of a police car and forced to spend 18 hours behind bars. She said police also questioned her terrified children.
“My daughter had him (the police officer) around the leg saying ‘Please, please don’t take my mom to jail. Please, she didn’t do anything wrong,'” Cooper told KPRC.
The La Porte Police department defended its officer in a statement.
“We are confident in the known actions of the responding officers,” the department wrote. “In addition, officers did contact the Harris County District Attorney’s Office while on the scene that evening, upon which their Office accepted charges of Abandoning a Child on Ms. Cooper.”
In the video clip above, KPRC can be seen reaching out to the neighbor who reported Cooper to police. The woman declined to comment.