School district officials in Oakland, Calif. have released shocking surveillance video showing a school security guard pummeling a wheelchair-bound student.
The incident occurred on May 19 at around 9 a.m., reports local Fox affiliate KTVU.
The student, 17-year-old Francisco Martinez, has cerebral palsy and is currently in therapy to try to make his legs move.
According to district officials, the video shows the guard, Marchell Mitchell, pushing Martinez in his wheelchair down a school corridor. Mitchell leans down as if the sophomore is saying something. Then, Mitchell raises his right arm and smacks Martinez upside the head. A few seconds later, Mitchell strikes the kid again.
According to Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint, Mitchell finished off the beat-down by “dumping” Martinez “out of his wheelchair and onto the floor.”
“I hit the floor with my chin first,” Martinez told KTVU.
Flint said the incident began when Mitchell and another unidentified school security officer ordered Martinez and a few other students loitering in a hallway to get to class. When Martinez didn’t go, Mitchell began to push Martinez’s wheelchair. Martinez protested. He also whacked Mitchell on the hands.
Martinez told KTVU that Mitchell had tossed him to the ground in an elevator prior to the hallway pummeling. At that point, Martinez said, Mitchell put handcuffs on the wheelchair-ridden teen.
The sophomore confessed that he spit on Mitchell — likely at the point in the video when Mitchell leaned down.
“I was handcuffed, so I didn’t have no way to defend myself but my mouth,” he told KTVU.
The teen also claimed that, just after the scuffle, Mitchell told him, “I hope you don’t walk for two to three weeks.”
Martinez said he is suffering severe pain and has now been to the hospital twice. His mother said he has injuries to his face and neck as well as his arms.
The superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District, Gary Yee, has paid a visit to Martinez.
“I think the actions we saw in the video were really appalling and should never happen under any circumstances,” Yee told the San Jose Mercury News. “I went to his house and personally expressed my concern for what happened. He appreciated it. He shared his perspective with us.”
Yee added that Martinez declined the invitation to enroll in a different school.
As for Mitchell, the school district sacked him immediately after the incident.
On May 21, the Alameda County District Attorney filed a felony criminal complaint against Mitchell on charges of corporal injury to a child.
The disgraced security guard has pleaded not guilty.
Flint, the school district spokesman, noted that Mitchell’s background check showed no prior arrests or convictions.
Local sentiment is strongly behind Martinez. At a board meeting this week, attendees demanded that the second security guard seen in the surveillance video also be fired.
Out-of-control campus cops is definitely a thing across America in the last few days.
Earlier this week, for example, school district officials in Tulsa, Okla. placed a school police officer on paid administrative leave because he fired his gun at a vehicle containing a pair of teenagers who were trying to get busy. The shot came as the terrified 17-year-old driver was fleeing the scene. The unidentified school cop said the leaving lovebirds caused him to feel threatened. (RELATED: Public Schools Cop Shoots At Fleeing Kids Who Had Been MAKING OUT)
Also this week, Edison High School in Miami, Fla., school security cop Steven Rodgers, 43, submitted his resignation after the local Fox affiliate received – and broadcast right on television – some footage showing him masturbating in his office. (RELATED: This Week In Masturbating School Cops, Kids Forced To Pee In Trash, Kindergartners Crossing Highways Alone)