Ex-Cop Sued for Handcuffing 8-year-old Child

Macon County Mother Sues former Cop for Handcuffing Her Son

A federal lawsuit was filed January 6 against former Macon County police and part-time courtesy officer, Justin Fox. The lawsuit follows an incident from January of 2013, in which Fox reportedly handcuffed and “forcefully grabbed” Demetrice Martin’s 8-year-old son, Ethan Martin, in his Overlook Gardens apartment home.

Demetrice Martin claims the incident began when Fox first “aggressively approached” her then 10-year-old son, and ordered the child to take him to his family.

According to Steve Visser with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox’s girlfriend reported that Ethan had been throwing pine cones at their pet dog. Fox and his girlfriend were also residents of Overlook Gardens at the time of the incident.

Winston Denmark, the lawyer representing the Martins spoke with The Atlanta Journal Constitution and says that Fox “gives him a little bit of shock and awe as only police officers can do--it was altogether unnecessary to put him in handcuffs”.

Fox then, allegedly “pounded violently on the door”, forcing his way into the apartment accusing Ethan of “throwing things” at his dog. The lawsuit claims that Fox threatened to “lock him (Ethan) up for animal cruelty”. The young boy reportedly then remained in handcuffs until he apologized. Fox said he did this to “teach him a lesson”.

Fox resigned from the then Macon Police Department less than a week following a disciplinary review board of his fellow officers who recommended his termination. The lawsuit notes 14 complaints filed against Fox with the police department in his three years on the force, including allegations of racial profiling and pulling a gun on an unarmed 13-year-old.

Ethan’s mother maintains that as a result, this experience has traumatized her son, causing him to lose sleep and avoid playing outside for fear of running into Fox. Demetrice Martin claims their constitutional rights were violated and wants Justin Fox, the city of Macon, Overlook Gardens Properties LLC. and The Woodruff Companies held responsible.The lawsuit seeks compensation for past, present and future pain and suffering and other damages from the defendants.