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Mississippi judge drops punishment of probation and book report for a child who urinated in public

SENATOBIA, Miss. (AP) — A 10-year-old Black child who urinated near his mother's car outside a Mississippi office building will no longer be required to serve probation and write a book report about Kobe Bryant, an attorney for the child's family said Monday.

Tate County Youth Court Judge Rusty Harlow set the three-month probation and the book report about the late NBA star as punishment in December. But the child's mother said she would not agree to the terms because of concerns that the probation would treat her child like a criminal.

Harlow held another hearing Monday and dismissed a Youth Court petition that sought to designate the child as one in need of supervision — a decision that pleased his mother, according to Carlos Moore, an attorney for the family.

Moore had said the probation agreement had terms similar to what prosecutors set for an adult, including a requirement to submit to drug tests at a probation officer’s discretion.

The child’s mother has said her son urinated behind her vehicle while she was visiting a lawyer’s office in Senatobia, Mississippi, on Aug. 10. Police officers in the town of about 8,100 residents, 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Memphis, Tennessee, 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 has 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" by the department, and other officers would be disciplined.