An Arkansas father is facing a series of charges after being arrested Thursday for piercing his own child’s ear.
In a now-viral video, Tontitown police are seen handcuffing and arresting the father while his son and wife protest off camera. The clip has made its way across social media, with immediate backlash from the public.
Jeremy Sherland, 45, was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, refusing to submit to arrest and obstructing governmental operations. He is also charged with a Class D Felony for “performing body art on a person under sixteen (16) years of age, regardless of parental consent.”
The situation unfolded after Tontitown PD performed a welfare check on Sherland’s home. In a statement, cops said they were contacted by a Springdale Police School Resource Officer after Sherland’s son told classmates his father had gotten drunk, “put him in a choke hold and shoved a piercing in his ear.”
Sherland admitted to piercing his son’s ear, but refused to answer questions or allow officers to speak to his child.
Four police later returned to the home with an arrest warrant. This is when the chaos began.
A TikTok video posted by Sherland’s son shows his father opening his front door. A police officer then pushes Sherland against the wall and handcuffs him.
Sherland’s wife and son are heard in the background repeatedly asking officers why they are in their home. One cop answers, “He [Sherland] is under arrest for unlawful body piercing.”
Sherland laughs in disbelief and repeats the charge to his wife and son, “Body art without a license.”
Soon after, the four officers strong-arm the man out of his home and perp-walk him down the street to a police vehicle. The mother and son follow along, commenting their anger and distress the entire way.
“Piercing his son’s ear without a license! Takes three cops, four cops coming into my house without my permission. No permission, they busted in my front door. This is the boy right here,” the mother says pointing to the couple’s son who is walking alongside her.
“He got a pierced ear by his dad. These cops busted in my door. Busted in the front door,” Sherland’s wife shouts as she follows closely behind her husband to the cop cars.
“I wanted my ears pierced,” Sherland’s son says from behind the camera, as he continues to film his dad being led away.
Sherland’s boy posted the video to TikTok with the caption, “I pierced my ear a year ago, and he got arrested because of it.”
After the video went viral on social media, there was some confusion about which department participated in the event.
The Springdale Police Department tweeted on April 22nd, 2023, “We are aware of a viral video purporting to be of SPD. The department in the video is of a neighboring jurisdiction. No Springdale Police Officer is involved in the incident posted online.”
A follow up tweet from the PD showed Sherland’s mugshot, with his address circled in red. This, essentially, doxxed the citizen online.
Sherland was released on a $1,500 bond Saturday. He spent two nights in Washington County Jail.
While, to many, this entire situation seems absurd, Jeremy Sherland’s arrest highlights a much larger issue.
A father piercing his own child’s ear results in a felony charge and two days in prison. However, permanently altering minors with “gender-affirming care” is perfectly acceptable.
Arkansas laws require parental consent for both, yet only one is being prosecuted against.
No doctors giving minors Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or performing sex changes on minors are being hauled off to jail, nor are we seeing any of them being slapped with felony charges for operating on a minor.
In 2021, Arkansas was the first state to issue a ban on children who receive “gender-affirming medical care,” but a federal appeals court affirmed a judge’s ruling that temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the law.
According to the Fayetteville Flyer, “The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf of four transgender youth and their families, as well as two doctors who provide gender-confirming treatments.”
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill at the time saying, “No other state has passed such a law that interferes with a parent making health care decisions for minor children based upon a doctor’s recommendations when the recommendations are based upon generally accepted medical guidance.”
Hutchinson left office the following January.
The American Medical Association is among several major medical groups that have opposed bans against minors receiving “gender-affirming healthcare.”
The Fayetteville Flyer reported in March that “Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently signed new legislation that makes it easier to sue providers of gender-affirming care for children.”
“The bill was signed as a federal judge is considering whether to strike down a 2021 Arkansas law that would prohibit doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone therapy or puberty blockers to anyone under 18 — or referring them to other doctors who can provide that care. No gender-affirming surgery is performed on minors in the state.”
This new law is set to take effect in June.