A violent and “disturbing” confrontation between a female high school student and two Chicago police officers caught on cellphone video at a city school has resulted in felony charges for her and the reassignment of both officers.
The 16-year-old student allegedly got into a confrontation with the assistant principal at John Marshall Metropolitan High School on Tuesday morning. She was asked to leave the school after she apparently began flipping over desks in a classroom, according to her father, who spoke to Chicago ABC station WLS.
He didn’t dispute his daughter has had behavioral issues at school and said a teacher reprimanded her for using her cellphone in class leading to the argument with the assistant principal.
The teen’s father, Laurentio Howard, was called to pick his daughter up from school and filmed the incident between the girl and the officers.
Chicago police said the teen began fighting with the two officers — one male and one female — who were escorting her from the building. The officers, who were not named and only identified as Officer #1 and Officer #2 in a narrative provided by police, were allegedly bit and kicked by the student. While biting Officer #1, the two fell down a flight of stairs, police said.
Even at the bottom of the stairs, she continued to lash out at the officers, kicking and flailing her arms. The video shot by her father picks up after the two tumbled down the stairs and she can be seen kicking the officers.
Students in the video can be heard shouting, “Don’t Tase her,” as one of the officers pulls out a Taser.
Not mentioned in the account given by Chicago police, but clearly visible in the video, is a large male officer taking a swing at the student as she was lying on the ground.
The officers both deployed their Tasers and the teen was taken into custody, police said. Only one of the officers can be seen using his Taser before the confrontation moves out of view of the camera.
Howard told WLS that the male officer had his knee in his daughter’s back and the female officer repeatedly punched her.
Both police officers were taken to University of Illinois Hospital, while the student was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. All were treated for minor injuries.
“The officers are currently on medical leave and they will be reassigned to different duties within the District as COPA and the CPD Force Review Unit complete independent investigations into the incident,” Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department told ABC News in a statement.
The school district said the officers will not be returning to Metropolitan High School.
“CPS strives to create safe and supportive learning environments for all students, and this disturbing incident has absolutely no place in our schools,” Michael Passman, chief communications officer for Chicago Public Schools, said in a statement to ABC News. “To ensure a thorough review of this situation is conducted, we are asking the district’s Office of the Inspector General to review the matter and we will fully support the ongoing investigation by the City’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability.”
Howard said he feared for his own life if he had stepped in to break up the fight.
“It was devastating, I couldn’t believe what was going on,” Howard told WLS. “I was thinking, ‘If I jump in they’re going to shoot me. And if I don’t jump in, they’re going to hurt my daughter really bad.'”
His daughter, who ABC News is not naming as a minor, provided a different account than was provided by police in an interview with WLS.
“As I tried to walk the other way, I guess he like, put out his hand and pushed me toward the stairs,” she said. “He caused me to fall down the stairs and I grabbed his vest and we all fell down the stairs.”
She appeared in juvenile court on Friday and has been charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer and two misdemeanor counts of resisting and obstructing a peace officer, according to WLS.
She was fitted with an ankle monitoring bracelet and her father said she has been sentenced to home confinement until her next court date on Feb. 19.