Two police officers who resigned from their posts after being caught on camera slamming a 14-year-old student on a school floor and desk have been charged with misdemeanors, much to the dismay of the teen’s family.
The story goes that an unnamed 14-year-old student at Brusly Middle School in Brusly, Louisiana walked into an office at the school in October, after an apparent verbal dispute with the vice principal. The student was reportedly in the office to call his grandmother and ask her to pick him up from school.
Soon after that, everything went off the rails. When the teen tried to walk out of the office, former officers identified as Anthony “Kip” Dupre and Dan Cipriano allegedly initiated a violent altercation with the teen, slamming him twice. The officers were employed by the Brusly Police Department for three years and resigned at the request of their police chief Jonathan Lefeaux.
A number of school staff members were bystanders as all of this unfolded.
WAFB reported in November, “Sources said the teen admitted to reaching for the officer’s gun during the struggle and had fought with other officers on at least two prior occasions,” adding that the “video shows the officer’s gun come loose and a staff member picks it up and places it on the desk. She relocates the gun a second time as the scuffle moves closer toward it.”
That version of the story has since been disputed.
Attorney Kwame Asante, speaking on behalf of the teen and his grandparents, said that the officers initiated this, that his client was cut and bruised, traumatized by the incident, and that he never knowingly reached for an officer’s gun but may have inadvertently grabbed a cop’s belt during the struggle.
“They feel the DA’s office did an adequate job by bringing it quickly to the people but feel it was a slap on the wrist based on the tape and what they saw done to their grandson,” Asante said. “This young man will still be dealing with this for a long time.”
“We were led to believe one thing, then we saw the leaked video and it was something else. So, we’re not happy about the way that that was presented to us by the State Police,” Asante added, saying that the family plans on filing a lawsuit against the school and the police department.
The boy’s grandmother said that her grandson has suffered from depression and anxiety ever since his mom died five years ago and that he has been classified as a special needs student. She said he has been having “behavioral issues” and “has been getting a lot of treatments at home.”
“[W]hen it comes to the school with the treatments, they wasn’t backing us,” she said.
A grand jury has indicted Cipriano on simple battery and Dupre on malfeasance in office. [Image via WABF screengrab]