In a world where a simple camera phone can provide an accurate account of police interactions, young citizens are finding the courage to speak up for themselves and their civil rights. In an article by the New York Times, it seems that officers in schools are facing similar criticism as officers on the street.
According to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, an 18 year-old student claims an NYPD officer used unreasonable force while breaking up a fight in a Williamsburg school. The shocking video shows an officer hitting the student, Yordy Aragonez, over and over with his baton in front of a classroom of seated students.
The interaction took place shortly after officers were called to break up a fight involving a group of students. In an interview with Aragonez, he told investigators that he was jumped by that group of students and was defending himself with hopes that the officers would come to his aid.
The officers arrived at the scene of the large brawl and proceeded to pull Aragonez into a nearby classroom where class was in session. In front of his peers, the officer shouted curse words at the student as he lay on the floor taking the baton hits until he was eventually thrown into a nearby desk.
The dramatic incident took place in December of last year but now the student is hoping for assault charges and more training for officers who work in local schools. In a statement by the New York Police Department, “As officers attempted to break up the altercation, an officer used a baton. As a matter of practice, the incident is under review by the Internal Affairs Bureau.” For more information, visit this link.