Social media is on fire after a video was released on Friday, November 19, showing police pepper spraying and hitting a black teenager in a large-scale disruption at a suburban Dallas-Fort Worth high school.
The boy, who has not been identified, was part of a school protest in favor of a classmate who claimed she was groped and harassed on a school bus in October.
Hundreds of people gathered in the halls of school in Little Elm, Texas on the last Friday before Thanksgiving after news spread on social media that a sophomore named Jaelyn had been suspended from the school. school after she was found talking to the person she accused of sexual misconduct. .
The students left their classes around 10:20 am that day. A student witness said officers attempted to round the students together by tying their arms together and pushing the students away. Yet the students broke their human chain. Quickly, chaos ensued.
The students videotaped law enforcement officers as they fired pepper spray at one group of students and heaped up another as they walked towards officers. Videos were uploaded and within minutes the parents wanted to know what was going on.
Several videos show the police and students clashing. In one video, a black boy is seen being sprayed with pepper and tasered to the ground. Afterwards, the officer can be seen grabbing him and dragging him by his shirt.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump tweeted about the incident. “Texas Police Pepper Sprayed and TASED Little Elm High School Students Protesting Their School’s Handling of Sexual Assault!” It’s ridiculous! These students stood for what is RIGHT. This excessive police response is disgusting. “
A white student tried to intervene to protect another student and says he was also tased.
The junior, Kaden Throckmorton, told the local NBC affiliate: “He pushes me away, he pulls out his Taser and pushes me with the Taser and he says, ‘Hey, you have to back up. I’m like ‘He’s not breathing, we’ve got to do something about it.’ And he ends up putting the Taser on my stomach, he Tases me, one of the other officers pushes me on the shoulder, he rips my shirt in fact.
He went on to say, “I just got all the adrenaline flowing through my body. I knew when he knocked me down my stomach tensed.
“I knew what I was doing was for the best,” he concluded. “I was just scared. I was afraid.”
Chaplain Crystal Bates of the DFW Metro Chapter of the NAACP commented on the videos she saw and called them “very disturbing.” She also said, “I am worried about what the policies are for this district. “
Authorities report that four students were arrested that day. Superintendent Daniel Gallagher would later say that a large group of students chasing after others attempted to break into an office during the protest.
The Town of Little Elm launched a website, LittleElmFacts, to give their take on what happened on Friday.
The city’s explanation of the black teenager who was tossed and laid on the floor in the viral videos appears in a section titled “What Happened on the First Floor?” It reads as follows:
“This is the scene captured on videos currently circulating on social networks and in the news. Officers were transporting the arrested people through the building. It was then that a third person – a student wearing a light-colored warm-up jacket and pants – attempted to interfere with the arrest. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor. Video shows this student advancing aggressively towards officers escorting one of the students from the second floor incident. Based on this aggressive action, another officer used pepper spray to deter the assault. As the student continued to charge the officer, he was forced to deploy a Taser device to stop further advances. “
At the site, Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison shares with the public that an “outside use of force expert” will be called in to help the department decide if “the actions of these officers” were excessive .
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