The mother of a high school student who accused a school resource officer of slamming him against a wall said the employee used unwarranted and excessive force on her son.
“My heart dropped,” Latoya Glenn told WSB-TV. “I was like, my son is getting choked, I watched him getting slammed and his head hit the wall.”
Asah Glenn, 14, a freshman at Alcovy High School was captured on camera being confronted and flipped by an unidentified school officer after the student stole a candy bar from an open school vending machine.
The incident happened last Thursday, Dec. 13 after a crowd of students raided the machine for candy without pay. Teachers said they couldn’t stop the children so they called the Newton County Sheriff’s Office for backup.
Asah said after he took a chocolate bar, he was snatched up by a school coach and two officers.
“I ran over there, grabbed a Snickers, turned around coach grabbed me and it went from there,” the teen told CBS46.
One of the officers allegedly put Asah in a chokehold while another one tackled him to the floor.
“One of them choked me, slammed me to a brick wall, and then on the ground, dragged me around,” the student told the news station. “I didn’t know why he was doing it. Over an 85 cent candy bar.”
Asah reportedly suffered from bruised ribs, scraped knees and other scars from the incident.
“It was a blur. I was scared for my life and I didn’t know what was going on,” the teen said.
A spokesperson from the sheriff’s office told Yahoo Lifestyle that deputies initially responded to a fight but “determined it was theft of snacks from the vending machine. Three juvenile students were charged as a result.”
LaToya Glenn said the officer who was captured on video using force on her son did apologize, but she said authorities were wrong to react so drastically toward the teen.
“I’m very concerned for his future,” she told CBS46. “I knew instantly this is just wrong.”
Asah was charged with theft and disorderly conduct, but LaToya said she plans on fighting the charges against her son. She also called for the retraining of school officers.
Harold Spence, the attorney representing the Glenn family, said they’re pushing to get the charges against the 14-year-old student dropped. He added that the officer involved in the incident could have defused the situation with a different approach.
“It was clearly an excessive use of force, where a minor incident was made into a violent, unnecessary encounter,” said Spence.
Sophia Wallace, a parent of another child involved, has hired a lawyer after her 15-year-old son claimed that he was also choked and maced. However, her son said that he didn’t take any candy and was targeted for holding an old Skittles wrapper at the scene, which was unrelated to the theft.
“I want justice, that was uncalled for,” Wallace told Fox 5. “There was no fight, there was no gun, we are talking candy here.” She reportedly hired a lawyer and will withdraw her children from the school.
The officer involved has been reassigned another position while under investigation.
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office says students at Alcovy High School were stealing candy from an open vending machine Thursday and School Resource Officers responded with force. But parents are saying this is TOO MUCH. What do you think? Full story on @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/G89APkH1wM
— Alexa Liacko FOX 5 (@AlexaLiackoFOX5) December 17, 2018