Last week security footage of a harrowing incident at Oakland High School in Oakland, California made the news. In the video, a student in a wheelchair is seen being beaten by a school security guard and then dumped out of his chair. Now new video has emerged that shows that two security guards abused Francisco Martinez.
The second video shows the initial abuser, Marchell Mitchell, as well as a second person, Shalandra Cotton. In the video Martinez resists the guards' attempts at keeping him calm outside of an elevator. Halfway through the video, Martinez is thrown out of his wheelchair and kicked in the head. Then he is dragged into the elevator. The entire event took place because Martinez was either too slow or didn't want to go to class when he was told. After the guards and Martinez exited the elevator, Martinez spit at Mitchell which prompted the attack in the initial video that was released.
Mitchell has been arrested and is out on $10,000 bail. He has been fired. Cotton has been placed on paid leave while the investigation is pending.
The principal of the high school has released the following statement:
"I'm shocked and deeply hurt by this behavior and apologize on behalf of the staff at Oakland High," the principal wrote. "This incident is not reflective of the kind of culture we cherish at our school or how we treat one another."
He added, "It was an aberration, but a severe one, and I assure you I'm treating this with the utmost concern."
Last week students circulated a petition asking for Mitchell's reinstatement. The flyer read "spitting is a crime...you provoked this." Students claimed that Mitchell was a good guard and that Martinez would sometimes deliberately run over other people's toes with his wheelchair. Clearly a crime deserving of a beating by an adult.