Two ex-officers who were recorded using excessive force on a Brusly Middle School student in Louisiana were found guilty on Dec. 14 but the student’s lawyer has since described the charges as a mere “slap on the wrist” considering the officers’ violent actions.
Footage of the confrontation first emerged through an anonymous leak to WAFB on Nov. 14 over one month after the incident took place on Oct. 5. The leak also provided the student’s grandmother, Doris Snearl, evidence for her case against the officers.
Snearl’s attorney, Kwame Asante, told The Advocate they were angry when they saw the tape as they were lied to by investigators who led them to believe that the student did something to escalate the confrontation.
In the video, the 14-year-old student is seen in the office attempting to make a call to his grandmother when ex-officer Anthony Dupre walks in and they begin to exchange words. About 40 seconds into the video, the student decides to walk away from the phone and toward the exit when Dupre lunges at him, taking the student down onto the floor with his bodyweight.
Because the office camera was positioned in the far corner of the school’s office, the fight was narrowly visible as the front desk blocked the two bodies now on the floor. At about a minute and 29 seconds, what looks like Dupre striking the student is seen. Dupre is then seen kicking his gun away towards a school staff member who picks it up and places it on the desk immediately.
The, before ex-officer Dan Cipriano—who was charged with simple battery—enters the room, the student is picked up and slammed onto the floor by Dupre. After Cipriano arrives, he handcuffs the student and picks him up, then slams him onto the desk while Dupre gathers himself.
At the end of the video, the school staff member is seen putting on latex gloves and wiping the areas where the student was slammed.
The student was left with bruises and swelling around the face. He also lost a lot of blood from a cut on the chin, Asante told The Advocate. Snearl said she’s more concerned about any psychological damage her grandson may suffer.
Snearl’s grandson lost his mother five years ago to cancer. Snearl said this incident has only agitated his psychological and behavioral issues. She also told The Advocate that she had called the police on her grandson before but denied that he had a previous encounter with Dupre before the confrontation in the office.
The family is glad that there was enough evidence to charge the ex-officers for their crimes, although they are disappointed that only minor charges were filed against the officers because according to Asante, “This young man will still be dealing with this for the rest of his life.”
Dupre and Cipriano were initially placed on paid leave. Once Brusly Police Chief Jonathan Lefeau, realized the severity of the incident, he asked them for their resignations and they resigned.
AP contributed to this report.