Police Called To Texas High School To Break Up Fight, Police Taser Teenage Boy, And Leave Him With Severe Brain Injury
Before I happily landed at a community college, which lasted for 34 years, i had the misfortune of teaching high school. (People who can do that should be given a medal or even be made a knight+getting a salary of at least $200.000 a year.) At any rate, I broke up 3 fights in 4 years of mentoring (and attempting to corrupt) the youth at the school. It isn't hard to do, at least for a reasonably healthy male teacher who can operate in a stealthy manner. The students are intent on bashing one another and they shouldn't see you coming as you blindside one of them, shouldering him to the ground. (It takes a certain amount of restraint not to pound him with maximum velocity if he is a known bully.)
So, what in hell are cops doing on campus in a Texas suburb anyway? The teachers can't keep order? I don't believe it. Google the high school and community and you'll find it isn't a drug-ridden, gang infested, drive by shooting community. And this kop had to use a taser, with the UN says is a weapon of torture? If the kops in Bastrop County are anything like the L.A. County sheriffs there just might be a sociopath with a lethal weapon on campus. Kops are omnipresent in schools across America and they aren't necessarily at all like the ones glorified in the kop and crime shows on TV.
Maria Acosta has sued the Bastrop County, its police department, and its school district after a tragic accident left her son Noe Nino de Rivera with a brain injury. Acosta says that her son had broken up a fight at Cedar Creek High School when police arrived. They told him to put his hands in the air, but she says that they shot him anyway with a taser that knocked him to the ground where he struck his head causing “a severe brain hemorrhage”. Randy McMillan, a Bastrop County sheriff’s officer who works as a school resource officer, is named in the lawsuit. Police say that Noe Nino or “N.N.” acted “aggressively.”
The complaint, which can be read here, says that the fight was over when McMillan arrived. She says that her son actually broke up the fight when McMillan arrived and told him to step back. He allegedly did so and put his hand in the air before being shot. We have not seen the answer to the complaint from McMillan or the district.
However, one news report has a statement from Sissy Jones of the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office who says that there is a video of the incident showing de Rivera “being aggressive.” She describes the video as showing a scene where “One of the officers puts his hand on de Rivera’s chest and says, you need to back up and that’s when de Rivera hits the officer’s hand.” “Hits the officer’s hand” is aggression but does it warrant shooting the kid with a taser? Students have told the media that it was McMillan who attacked aggressively and that Noe Nino or “N.N.” was trying to get the officer to listen to him.
What is clear is that the boy hit his head on the ground as he fell. She says that they then handcuffed the unconscious boy and “delayed in calling for medical assistance even though N.N. was in an obvious emergency medical situations.” News reportsstate that he was eventually airlifted to a hospital or put into a medically induced coma and remains in a coma.
Assuming the video shows N.N. slapping away the hand of the officer, the jury may still be faced with a question of excessive force. We have previously discussed how tasers are now used as a first option where physically restraining people or defusing a situation were once attempted (here and here and here and here and here andhere). The use of a taser at a school raises immediate concerns along these lines. There were reportedly two officers present when the taser was used on N.N. What is clear is that police continue to view tasters as largely harmless weapons despite serious injuries documented around the world.
The case also is the latest example of the criminalization of our schools, which we have previously discussed.