Cops And Schools Collide Again: School Fight Ends With Tased Teen In Medically-Induced Coma

from the routine-altercations-meet-routine-responses dept

Another incident that highlights the troubling aspects of placing cops in schools has surfaced. The sheriff's office's (which supplies the deputies to the school) story has changed several times in the space of few days, but the end result is inarguable: a 17-year-old student is in a medically-induced coma as the result of its officer's actions.

At one Texas high school, the use of a Taser by Randy McMillan, a sheriff’s deputy/school resource officer, on 17-year-old Noe Niño de Rivera has resulted in the student being put in a medically induced coma. The family has filed a lawsuit against McMillan, the school district, and the county, and alleges Rivera was tased after trying to break up a fight.
According to the court documents, the teen was walking backwards from school officers who were trying to break up a fight when he was tased, falling backwards and suffering a brain hemorrhage. The sheriff's office maintains that the student acted aggressively and refused to back off when ordered to by officer Randy McMillan.

The narrative is cloudy, even when restricted to just the sheriff's office's statements. The original report of the incident on Nov. 20th said this:
A Bastrop County sheriff deputy assigned to Cedar Creek High School as a resource officer used a Taser on a 17-year-old student during a fight on Wednesday, according to officials.

The student and two other boys were involved in a fight in the hallway when the deputy used the stun gun on him, according to the Bastrop school district and Sissy Jones, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
The next day, the office's statement added this:
A 17-year-old Cedar Creek High School student was acting aggressively before a Bastrop County sheriff’s deputy Tased the teen Wednesday, officials said Thursday.
Thus making the deployment of the Taser more justifiable. But it also added this:
Sissy Jones, a spokeswoman for the Bastrop County sheriff’s office, said that two deputies who work at the Bastrop school district as resource officers were trying to stop a fight Wednesday between two female students in the high school’s hallway when the 17-year-old male student approached.
The original report stated the tased student was involved in a fight with two other boys and the deputy. This new statement shows the student wasn't even involved in the fight and had only "approached" the scene.
The student tried to interfere with the deputies and didn’t listen to their commands, Jones said. “He looked as though he was ready to fight.”
"Looked." This still doesn't explain the office's statement that the student was "aggressive" or the implication that he posed a threat to the officers.

The family's lawyer claims to have cell phone footage of the incident that contradicts the statements made by the officers.
"They're completely lying, they're completely lying because they're very worried about this officer being indicted for a criminal charge, which he should be," said attorney Adam Loewy, who is representing the family…

"Noe was being a good Samaritan, a good citizen, he broke up the fight. Then there was some stoppage to everything, and he was standing there. You see these police officers go up to him and tase him," Loewy said.
Whatever this footage shows likely won't make an appearance until the case goes to trial, but it would seem the school itself should have footage of the incident. According to its parent's handbook, the school has cameras in use (p. 70).
For safety purposes, video and audio recording equipment is used to monitor student behavior, including on buses and in common areas on campus. Students will not be told when the equipment is being used.
A "high school hallway" would presumably be a "common area." If there is footage, no one has made any mention of it. Even stranger, no one has even offered to review the recordings or even deny such footage exists.

The lawsuit would obviously limit the school from talking about the incident (as would the student's age), but the school issued nearly no statements in the days preceding the filing, other than its original joint statement with the sheriff's office (above) and this boilerplate isued on the day of the incident.
“The safety and security of all students is the number one priority at Cedar Creek High School and Bastrop ISD,” the district said in a statement. “When law enforcement officers intervene and take action, they do so based on their training and protocol, as they deem warranted.”
The sheriff's office has gone on record as stating the student wasn't involved in the fight, but yet somehow, the uninvolved student is the one who was tased and hospitalized for nothing more than appearing "aggressive." Fights have occurred in schools as long as there have been schools, but only in recent years has it been assumed that only law enforcement officers are capable of handling combative students. When you use law enforcement officers to handle routine disciplinary problems, you greatly increase the odds of severe injuries. Officers have certain training and tools and applying them to situations that don't require severe responses puts LEOs in the awkward place of either doing nothing or approaching students as though they were dangerous, hardened criminals.

If this school had no "resource officers," it's nearly guaranteed that this situation would have ended with nothing more than routine disciplinary action, rather than with a 17-year-old in a coma and the filing of a federal lawsuit.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    Enough!

    What will it take for the people of this country to say "enough" and find a way to make sure that people like these officers and the politicians who encourage their behavior can never again get away with such things?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Enough!

    Far too much than you’d think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    That was close

    Boy, it's a good thing the officer was there to deal with the fight, otherwise someone might have gotten hurt! /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

    This makes perfect sense

    “The safety and security of all students is the number one priority at Cedar Creek High School and Bastrop ISD,” the district said in a statement.

    That's why the pigs used a torture device on a student. They were just ensuring safety and security in the only way they're capable of -- since of course they're far too weak and cowardly to actually have a conversation.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:10pm

    Does it not strike anyone as strange that this occurred on the 20th, the individual is in a hospital in a coma, and somehow time has been found to file a lawsuit 5 days after the incident?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:15pm

    Re:

    Why would the lawyer be too busy in the last few days to file the lawsuit?

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    " routine-altercations-meet-routine-responses dept"

    I assume the don't-tase-me-bro dept was shutdown due to it's staff beiein.medically induced comas

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:21pm

    “When law enforcement officers intervene and take action, they do so based on their training and protocol, as they deem warranted.”

    This statement is probabilistically untrue. There is no possible way that every single LEO in this Sheriff's Department always intervenes and takes action based on their training and protocol. Are they robots? The "as they deem warranted" is the only thing that mitigates the absolutism of the statement, but "as they deem warranted" isn't proper justification for their conduct.

     

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  9.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:29pm

    Exactly. "To Serve and Protect."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:43pm

    Re:

    Oooo, spooky.

    I can imagine that if I were the father of this boy that I would need some physical restraint. My attention would require the diversion and directing that attention at bringing down those that brought preventable harm by any means other than physical would be more appropriate and effective.

    Tasers are deadly. Their deployment in these types of situations is cowardly. These are not the tools of protection and defense.

    This prevalence of imposing submission in this "new" society is sickening.

    There is accountability to be claimed here. Who got 'em?

    That mother fucker should have been placed under arrest the second it was realized that child wasn't getting up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:46pm

    Back in my day, school fights happened and then everyone moved on while bitching to their friends and sitting in detention.

    Why are police tazing people in a school fight?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Enough!

    Until people realize that.

    a) Bad guys can be anywhere, they could be your neighbor, your uncle, you sons and daughters, the smiling guy/girl next door, and yes your nice police officer in blue.

    b) Zero tolerance means zero everything and is an excuse that will be exploited by bad people in power to screw them.

    c) People have good and bad moments, a person who almost never does anything wrong is still capable of anger and vindictiveness no less.

    No it doesn't mean you shouldn't trust anyone, it does mean though that you should always, always check the information given by anyone and it doesn't matter if it is your own mother.

    Who would think that a softly talking old lady would throw a cat in the garbage just for fun?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/25/mary-bale-cat-in-trash_n_693933.html

    Who would thought that a grandaughter would viciously attack another person and send someone to the hospital?

    Two Teenage Girls Beat Man on Subway, Sending Him to Hospital (2013)
    AC TRANSIT BUS FIGHT I AM A MOTHERFUCKER (2010)

    Those questions are rhetorical, people in general don't believe what doesn't fit their views but it is time to open our eyes, anyone can be a mother fucker.

    AC Transit Bus Fight - Interview MICHAEL THE BLACK GUY THAT GOT BEAT UP - Epic Beard Man

    That young fellow that tried to beat up the bearded man for a silly argument and is probably not a bad person, he was being stupid at that moment and let anger get the best of him, but he probably could have hurt the old guy which is not a flower but was the one that walked away from it, which is a miracle of the first order from the history of that bearded gentleman.

    The problem is not that there are bad police officers the problem is that there are a concerted effort to hide such a fact and by proxy protect and enable that bad to spread.

    Is not that occurs(bad cops) but how is dealt with(hiding it) that is a problem.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:00pm

    Re:

    "To Punish and Enslave."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:03pm

    Re:

    Most likely because they know that they can not be tazed back. He was either smiling on the inside because he got to deploy or was immediately horrified he deployed. Either way he was negligent and should be charged with aggravated assault and endangering the life a child.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:25pm

    Aggresive

    The use of that word makes it quite plain that the police are lying through their teeth. If that student was an actual threat to anyone, they would be able to be much more specific about what he did. "Looked ready for a fight" is a bullshit excuse, the kind of bullshit a kid would try to push on you if they wrecked the car when they didn't even have permission to take it. Are the police so immature that they make up lies as weak as a teenager would?

    I think the evidence will show that the officer recklessly endangered, and possibly killed, a young man who's only crime was being brown and getting in the way of a thug with too much power that lacked the brains to use it properly.

    I will never trust a cop so long as they continue to cover up the crimes they commit with impunity. No cop that breaks the law deserves to be protected. I don't care how great they are and how much they've done, police should be held to a stricter standard than most because they have been trusted with the authority and safety of their community. Power goes hand-in-hand with accountability and responsibility. If you abuse it, you deserve to be held accountable for it. If you have it, you need to use it to protect the people, not force submission. Leave your ego at home; this isn't an arena to live out your power fantasies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re:

    "To Bring Glory to Hypnotoad"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    cowardly law enforcement, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    What happened to 'think of the children'?
    Apparently that ruse is only for the masses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Dinsdale, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 8:10pm

    I am tired of these MF cops in these MF schools

    Welcome to new America, programs. You're either certified to fuck with the people, or you're one of the people, and people no longer has anything to do with "We The". So, bend over, there's an ever expanding class of the certified licking their chops and waiting to drive you to the nearest reeducation center. This randy motherfucker should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, and not just for the crime of being a sheriff's deputy in Texas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 10:10pm

    Tasers

    You know, for kids!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 10:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Because a lawyer is one brought in after the fact, and five (5) days after the fact borders on "instantaneous". Every parent I have ever known, myself included, having a child in a hospital and the child having a life threatening have without exception stayed with the child and not traipsed over the office of a lawyer to file a lawsuit. This instance "smells" of a shakedown.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It "smells" to me like the parents may not have known the exact cause of why their kid was put into a coma amidst a storm of CYA school politics.

    Which happens if a kid as much as talks back to a teacher, making a thick wall of bullshit in which no parent can penetrate on their own. imagine the proportions of school-administration legal gymnastics that must have occurred from a kid getting tasered for not picking up that can like a good prisoner.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2013 @ 10:47pm

    Shoot Cops On Sight

    It will very soon be time to shoot cops on sight.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Just Sayin', Nov 27th, 2013 @ 11:26pm

    cops stay home

    Whenever you complain about the cops doing "too much", just remember what it would be like if they did nothing.

    Then you can stop bitching about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 12:53am

    In my day it would have ended with a winner and a loser one beat up, possibly both and back to school the next day or a three day vacation if busted by a teacher.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 2:28am

    Re: Enough!

    Massive war crimes, apparently. And the police haven't officially declared war on the general public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    TheLoot (profile), Nov 28th, 2013 @ 2:43am

    It occurs to me... that's there's pretty much no incentive not to lie in situations like this. You tell the truth, you're screwed, sued, and at least out of a job if not going to jail if things were severe enough; no mercy. At least by sticking with a story, people believe they'd have a chance of avoiding punishment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    anonymouse, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A parent cannot sit by the side of a student 24/7 for 5 days , they will have time to go home and change clothing and maybe get some sleep, especially if there are two parents and they are taking turns sitting next to his bed. If only takes a few minutes to call a lawyer, especially when you hear from people that your kid is in the position he is in becasue the police tazerd him, seriously tasering a student in school becasue he looks like his is going to be aggressive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 4:46am

    Every time there is an incident involving police that ends with someone being hurt, probed, killed, etc. and the officer justifies it by "feared for his safety" or someone "looked aggressive", that officer should be forced to change his name to "Sissy Jones."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    If only they actually enforced perjury charges. That would give them plenty of incentive - unless they're Prenda stupid and only know how to dig a deeper hole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Nov 28th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    TEXAS ! WHERE EVEN STUPID IS BIG !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Nov 28th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    "Officers have certain training and tools and applying them to situations that don't require severe responses puts LEOs in the awkward place of either doing nothing or approaching students as though they were dangerous"

    You are being overly generous. Cops will need to handle situations that don't require severe responses all the time whether they are in a school or not, there is no good reason they should not be equiped to handle "situations that don't require severe responses" (as well as situations that do of course). It's not like every time a cop makes an arrest they need to go and taze everyone nearby.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Nov 28th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Aggresive

    In my opinion, thats the real problem, it's not that these things happen occasionally, but that they refuse to accept responsibility when they do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    antymat, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    Or did you mean "To Sever and Protract"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    In my opinion I think It should be illegal to have weapons in any school , This deputy should be jailed for using extreme force against a 17 year old child ..I mean how much of a threat could the kid have been to a "well trained" officer of the law ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    To Shock and Electrocute

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 28th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They are called ambulance chasers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    bobby b, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 9:34pm

    Just a couple of points . . .

    1. The parents wouldn't have had to go looking for a lawyer, or even have a lawyer-type thought, in this situation. The lawyer most likely went to them, at the hospital.

    2. When defendant city or department or town starts talking, in the lawsuit, about cops making decisions based on training and experience and rules and predictability, the city or whatever is simply setting the stage for "even if the cop is bad, we had no way of knowing he was bad, 'cuz he was acting normal, so it's not our fault."

    3. Do we know if the kid swooped in and stopped the fight by maybe grabbing and dragging out one of the fighters? And then didn't drop her when the cops told him to?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Robert, Nov 28th, 2013 @ 11:21pm

    Re:

    ERM, yes I would wait months in fury before seeking to punish to the maximum extent possible the school and the law-enforcer.
    Nope pretty much I would be sitting at home furious looking for payback, call to lawyers on the very first day and looking to vent my pain and frustration to the lawyer as soon as possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    peter, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re:

    It seems that 'think of the children' has been superseded by 'protection of the officer at all costs'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    peter, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 5:11am

    Re: This makes perfect sense

    "safety and security of all students is the number one priority". Well apart from ensuring the safety and security of the officers from the imminent dangers of kids looking aggressive. You should see the numbers of people in hospital suffering from being looked at. Its a serious problem you know. /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Votre (profile), Nov 29th, 2013 @ 7:04am

    Like the police commander said in the movie Bladerunner:

    Stop right where you are! You know the score, pal. You're not cop, you're little people!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Nop (profile), Nov 29th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    Sure, because what the parents OBVIOUSLY should've done was leave their kid on the ground & sprint to the courthouse. I mean, imagine how much bigger a payout they would be up for if their kid had died? Fools!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Just Sayin', Nov 29th, 2013 @ 7:31pm

    remind me of

    this story sort of reminds me of the story last week about the family all pissed off because their son got shot by someone while he was in a convenience store.

    Oh, did I mention that the son was in the middle of committing an armed robbery and had the clerk at gun point? That doesn't matter, you know, the boy shouldn't get shot just because he had a gun to someone's head and was stealing the contents of the cash.

    This is a typically one sided story where the family claims he was a "good boy" and wouldn't do that sort of thing, but then again, the cops didn't randomly select someone to Tase just for fun. You gotta figure there is more to the story than you are getting (or want to get, I think)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    disturbia, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    so just being aggressive or perceived as aggressive is enough of a reason/justification to be tased nowadays, huh?
    but that's what you get in a country that has embraced the safety first hysteria and its extremes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Christopher (profile), Nov 30th, 2013 @ 5:37am

    Re: Enough!

    Right about the time anonymous trolls can be reliably tracked and beaten with sticks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward II, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 4:17am

    Re: Enough!

    The fact that things like this continue to happen is proof that the people of this country have no say whatsoever in them. If they did, they would have reversed these kinds of policies by now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Give me a fucking break... Their kid is laying in a coma due to being assaulted by an armed bully with a badge — what would you have them do, call the cops? perform CPR? sit on their hands and cry?

    Getting legal help immediately is exactly the right thing to do after being hurt, illegally coerced, having one's rights violated, or being otherwise grievously fucked-with by these dangerous assholes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    me, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 4:45am

    There is a threat to student safety in that school

    The Attack Dogs er... Deputies.... Anyone else notice the place or a lot of this kinda thing is TEXAS?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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