Georgia officials have launched an investigation after one of its officers was accused of using excessive force on a teen who allegedly stole a chocolate bar.
The incident occurred last Thursday (Dec. 13) at Alcovy High School in Covington, where a group of students had swiped candy from an open vending machine. One of the students was 14-year-old Asah Glenn, who says he was grabbed by a school coach before responding officers choked him and threw him to the ground.
"It was a blur. I was scared for my life and I didn't know what was going on," Glenn told CBS affiliate WGCL. "I ran over there, grabbed a Snickers, turned around, coach grabbed me, and it went from there."
Footage of the incident has since surfaced online, sparking widespread allegations of police brutality. Attorneys for Glenn's family say the coach and two deputies used excessive force, so much so that their client experienced emotional trauma.
"They're choking him and they run him into the wall, lift him up, and you can see them try to body slam him to the ground," attorney Mawuli Davis said. "His hands are up the whole time. [Glenn's] 125, 130 pounds max and these are grown men. It was traumatizing for him."
The Newton County Sheriff's Office claims officers believed they were responding to what appeared to be a fight; however, they quickly determined that the bustling crowd was stealing snacks from the vending machine.
Glenn, who was given a three-day school suspension, told WGCL that the incident resulted in rib and knee injuries. He and two other students are now facing multiple charges, including theft and disorderly conduct.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office confirmed one of the accused deputies has been reassigned pending the results of the investigation.