Videos show migrant children being slapped, dragged at since-shuttered Arizona shelter

Videos show migrant children being slapped, dragged at since-shuttered Arizona shelter

Videos show migrant children being slapped, dragged at since-shuttered Arizona shelter

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigated the incidents at the Hacienda del Sol facility in Youngtown that took place over three days in September.

'The investigation determined that while physical force and restraint techniques were used against these minor children, these actions did not rise to the level of criminal charges, ' Sgt Joaquin Enriquez said in a statement.

This comes after The Arizona Republic obtained surveillance videos that appear to show children being dragged and pushed by staffers at the Hacienda Del Sol Southwest Key facility in Youngtown.

The case will be submitted on Monday, the sheriff's office said.

According to the Republic, Southwest Key had reported the incidents shown in the videos - all of which occurred in mid-September - to state authorities, local law enforcement and federal officials. Another adult is seen forcing a different child through the room, carrying and eventually dragging the child through a door, followed by yet another staffer pushing and dragging a third child through the same door.

The Arizona Republic blurred the videos in question so the faces of both the children and staff are not visible.

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One video appears to show a person dragging a child into a room and then shoving the child.

A migrant child is dragged by the arms by a member of staff at a shelter in the U.S. state of Arizona.

Southwest Key declined to comment on the case now being referred to the Maricopa County Attorney, but referred CNN to a statement the company issued at the time of the incident. The newspaper said it obtained the video from state DHS under public records law.

Mark Weber, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, told the Times earlier this month that there had been "numerous red flags and licensure problems" with the Hacienda Del Sol shelter, as well as another Southwest Key shelter in Phoenix, which the federal government also shuttered in October.

When asked to respond to the sheriff's office referral, a spokesperson for Southwest Key, which owned the Youngtown facility before it closed, provided an October statement saying that it "wholeheartedly welcomed the Office of Refugee Resettlement's decision to suspend operations" at the facility and that they were working to "thoroughly retrain our staff". The Texas-based nonprofit, which is funded by the federal government, was hit with a $73,000 fine and was forced to surrender license for two of its 13 facilities within the state of Arizona due to licensing violations, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The US Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the care of immigrant children, said in a statement: "These are vulnerable children in hard circumstances".

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