Another Over-the-Top reaction to what could have been handled as a “Sit down son, we are going to have a serious talk” moment in more rational times.
This is the reason Police should not be used to control kids. While I am perfectly in line with the need for a teacher to be able to bop them upside the head in certain situations, this sort of “criminalization” of a child by Law Enforcement has no benefits to society, or to the relationship between the community and its Police force.
A 14-year-old high school student says a school resource officer used excessive force when he grabbed the teen by the throat after the student and another boy were involved in a scuffle at a Texas high school cafeteria.
A cellphone video taken Thursday by a third student shows the officer placing his hands around sophomore Gyasi Hughes’ throat at Round Rock High School and taking Hughes to the ground. The video was given to CBS affiliate KEYE-TV, and can be seen in the above player.
Hughes, who was suspended for fighting but not charged, told KEYE-TV that the officer also pushed him.
Hughes’ father, Kashka, told KXAN-TV in Austin that what happened was “unacceptable” and that he plans to seek charges against the officer, who has not been identified.
“The police officer that was actually in this particular situation, he should have been trained well enough to know that this is a 130-pound child and that the action that was taken was totally unnecessary,” the elder Hughes said. The family didn’t immediately return messages from The Associated Press on Saturday.
Round Rock police said in a statement that a school administrator was unable to stop the two students from fighting and was forced to have police intervene. The officers were trying to calm Hughes and walk him to another part of the building, but the teen tried to circumvent the officers and continue the fight with the other student, according to the statement.
“Officers were forced to detain him for his safety and the safety of others,” police said, also noting that the incident is “under review.”
The family said the altercation was over prescription athletic eyewear that the younger Hughes had asked a friend to hold for him but didn’t return.
Gyasi Hughes told KXAN-TV that he later apologized to the officer for yelling at him.
His father said he lectured his son on how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.
“All of my family are teachers, my mother is a teacher, my father is a principal and was a superintendent for a long time before he retired,” Kashka Hughes said. “I’ve definitely seen how the guards in the schools as well as how my dad handled various situations when kids were in certain altercations.”
Hughes’ friend, Sebastian Vazquez told KEYE-TV that he was eating lunch when he heard the commotion.
“In the beginning, I heard people be like ooh and stuff, and it was Gyasi and this other kid, they were pushing each other around,” he told KEYE.
But Vazquez says it was never a full-blown fight, and things got more tense when the two school officers showed up. “Both cops got him in the corner, so I pulled my phone out to start recording because that seemed odd,” said Vazquez.