Police officers using brutal tactics to subdue so-called aggressors is pretty much the norm, but it's still shocking to see an officer in full uniform grab a 14-year-old, 130-pound high school student by the throat and wrestle him to the ground—especially when the incident is caught on camera. That's exactly what happened at a high school in Round Rock, Texas, after officers were called in to de-escalate a shoving match between Gyasi Hughes and another student, reports KAXN.
On Thursday morning, Hughes and another student had a disagreement over some sports goggles. Hughes asked a friend to hold the goggles for him, but when he asked for them back the friend refused. Apparently Hughes began to go through his backpack, and that's when the shoving started. An assistant principal broke up the fight, but another teacher called two School Resource Officers (SROs) over to the scene.
One of the officers took Hughes aside and began to talk to him. According to the video, the two carried on a brief conversation before the officer extended his right hand, grabbed Hughes by the throat, spun him around, and brought him to the ground on his back. Up to that point, that conversation looked relatively calm; Hughes certainly didn't make any move toward the officer before he was subdued.
In a press statement, the Round Rock Police Department said:
After repeated attempts to calm the non-compliant student, and stop him from going after the other student, officers were forced to detain him for his safety and the safety of others.
Hughes said that the officer was aggressive even before grabbing him:
As I was walking away the officer was pushing me in the back and I was like, 'Why are you pushing me? I’m not doing anything, I’m walking away like you told me to.' Finally we get like in this little corner and he’s (the SRO) sitting there yelling at me saying, 'You shouldn’t be rude to the lady (assistant principal), don’t talk to her like that,' I was like, 'What are you talking about, I’m not doing anything.' Finally I asked him (the officer) to leave me alone and that’s the point when he grabbed me and took me down and tried to detain me.
The incident is currently under review by RRPD.