HISD Officers Pin Student to the Ground Because She Was on Her Cell Phone
A brief cell phone video of Houston school district cops pinning down a screaming high school student caught fire on social media Wednesday.
Students and parents alike have taken to Twitter and Facebook, airing concerns of overhanded policing in schools. The eight-second video, reportedly taken at Sam Houston High School Tuesday, shows a student lying on a hallway floor, pinned down by officers at her head and feet. The video shows one officer reaching for something from his belt shortly before cutting out - it's unclear what the officer was grabbing.
The girl in the video is Sam Houston sophomore Ixel Perez, according KPRC. Perez told the station her father texted her while at school to let her know about her mother, who has health problems. When the assistant principal demanded she give up the cell phone, she refused. That's when school police apparently got involved.
Perez's mother posted a video to Facebook yesterday defending her daughter, saying the teenager was only concerned about her mother's health.
School officials tell the Chron that they're investigating the incident. The video reportedly even sparked a small protest outside the school Wednesday morning. We'll update this story when we learn more details of the incident.
— Savannah Yanez (@NanaayCali) September 2, 2014
Update 1:00 p.m.: We left HISD spokeswoman Sheleah Reed two voicemails and sent an email Thursday morning seeking more details on the incident. We also asked if the apparent use of force was appropriate given the infraction (using a cell phone during school hours) and whether the response by HISD officers, shown on video, is standard practice.
All we got was this statement: "The safety of our students at Sam Houston High School and of all our schools is always our absolute top priority. The HISD police department and the school's administration are continuing their investigations of what led to the detainment of a female student on Tuesday."