The mother of an EVSC student is speaking out after video shows the takedown of the student following reports of a school bus fight.
The video show three officers on top of the teenager and one police officer repeatedly punching the student in the back over and over.
The video is now raising concerns about whether police used excessive force.
The Evansville Police Department says the clip circulating on social media only shows a portion of what happened. That’s one of the reasons they say they are releasing body camera footage of the incident.
EPD responded to SE 8th and Gum Streets Thursday after EVSC officials called 911 reporting a fight on the bus.
EPD says officers arrived and boarded the bus to investigate the call.
Police say the teen left the bus through the emergency exit, walked alongside the bus, and refused to get back on.
Police say the officer took the teenager by the arm and was directing him towards the bus, but he began to pull away and because he refused was placed in handcuffs.
EPD says the teenager was hit five times by one of the officers in a way that follows EPD guidelines and based on the totality of the circumstances, the force used was ruled “justifiable.”
The Facebook post from the Evansville Police Department can be read here.
In a statement from the teenagers mother and attorney they say:
“The incident that occurred yesterday was very unfortunate. My son was on a school bus that was being held by officers due to a fight on the bus. My son was not involved in the fight and was never a suspect. Instead, he wanted to go home because their had been commotion on the bus he wasn’t a part of and he was trying to stay out of trouble. He did not want to be mixed up in the situation. While he should have handled it differently, he was met with excessive force by officers. His actions did not warrant the type of treatment he received. My son was instructed to get back on the school bus by one officer and as he attempted to do so, another officer approached him and begin to take him to the ground. Their was anxiety and miscommunications that led to the escalation of something that could have been avoided. A simple explanation would have deescalated this entire thing. As a mother, explaining to my 14 year old son why he had to spend the night in detention for a fight he was not involved in, why he was rough-handled by those I’ve taught him would protect him and more importantly why he never received medical treatment even though he complained of pain several times has been extremely emotional. We are considering some type of counseling as my son is very traumatized. However, I’m thankful that nothing worse happened to my child especially while he was screaming that he couldn’t breath under the restraints of three adult officers. This is a very difficult time and I ask the media and the public for privacy as we get more information.”