Judge bars Rutherford County juvenile detention policy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring Rutherford County from enforcing a policy that allows even young children accused of minor infractions to be locked up until a hearing.

The order from U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw stems from a suit filed by the parents of elementary school students who were arrested following an off-campus bullying incident. The arrests of the African-American kids at the Murfreesboro school last year – some hauled off in handcuffs – drew outrage. The suit has expanded to include other kids in the county.

In a written ruling Monday, Crenshaw said juveniles in Rutherford County are being deprived of their rights by the detention policy.

A lawyer for Rutherford County said in an email that the county would comply with the order.