A Denver cheerleading coach will face no charges after video emerged in August of him forcing team members to perform the splits by pushing them down, prosecutors announced Sunday.
East High School cheer coach Ozell Williams, 28, was fired by school administrators soon after footage emerged of him pushing down on a girl’s shoulders while her teammates held her limbs. The freshman at East High, Ally Wakefield, can be heard crying out in pain and saying “please stop” nine times over 24 seconds. Prosecutors nevertheless decided that there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, ABC 7 Chicago reported.
This was not the first time Williams’ painful coaching technique has come under fire. He had previously been fired from a high school in Boulder, Colo., for doing the same thing.
“You can definitely say that what was in the video could be seen in a different light. I would love to tell my story, but I can’t say anything else at this time,” Williams told the Denver Post,
The East High principal and athletics director were also fired, presumably for allowing hiring Williams in spite of his work history,
Williams has also taken voluntary leave from teaching tumbling for his nonprofit youth program, the Mile High Tumblers 5280. His biography on the Mile High Tumblers website indicates that he’s an Olympic athlete who won three first place rings in preliminary games for Team USA.
“Williams was never on any Olympic roster,” a spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee told FOX31. USA Gymnastics also told Fox31 that “Nobody has ever heard of him [Williams]” and there is “no record of him being invited to the Olympic Gymnastics Trials, let alone winning three ring titles.”
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