Police at a school in Texas are being rightfully scrutinized over a brutal and blatantly excessive take down of a sophomore student.
Ixel Perez, a 10th-grader at Sam Houston High School, is seen on the video above being violently tackled to the ground and detained by three officers employed by the school district. OK, so what was her terrible crime? Was she brandishing a weapon? Holding a bunch of drugs? No, the "crime" that caused three big, tough cops to knock a teenage girl to the ground for was using a cell phone. Via KHOU:
[Three] HISD police officers surround [Perez], two of them have her pinned to the floor face down. One officer has his knee pressed to the side of her head.
"Both of the cops just tackled her down to the floor. They put her knee on her head and after that they just arrested her, took her phone," said student Gustavo Lucio who took the video on his cell phone. "The cop just said you can't use your phone and after that, no words no nothing, just actions, grabbed her, threw her down."
According to the school's policy, if students are caught using their phone on school time, they must relinquish them to administrators and pay a fine. That's a completely understandable policy and the school is well within its rights to set rules like this. No one is here to bicker about setting a rule like that or diligently enforcing it. HOWEVER what happened next to Perez goes beyond simple disciplinary action. It's just straight up abuse of power bullshit.
[Perez] says her reading teacher caught her using her cell phone in class, which is against school rules, and told her to go to the hallway. That's where Perez says she was confronted by an assistant principal who demanded she relinquish the phone.
"I just didn't want to give up my phone," said Perez who said she was talking to her mom who suffers from medical conditions. Perez said she was trying to make sure her mom was OK.
"She asked me for the phone and I didn't want to give it to her, because I was scared. I ended up walking down the stairs trying to get away from the AP (assistant principal) and then she had already called the cops."
Perez acknowledges and admits that she refused to give them the phone when they asked. She absolutely should have turned over her phone and accepted the consequences. But her failure to do so does not make what these cops did acceptable. Not by a fucking longshot.
She violated a policy in her school and she should face appropriate punishment for that. But it doesn't matter how many times you try to "yeah-but-she-broke-a-rule" your way out of this, nothing but NOTHING this girl did warranted three cops tackling her to the ground. I mean, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME WITH THIS SHIT. This is a method used by police to subdue dangerous suspects who they think might do harm to the officers or themselves. So why is being used to enforce a rule about cell phones? This is fucking out of control. Isn't part of the job as a police officer to assess the threat and danger a subject poses? Have we thrown that out the window in favor of just treating everyone like they're psychotic killers as the standard default? Is this police force we really want?
"We all know it was wrong," said Perez' brother Chris Cardenas. "It doesn't take three cops to take down one teenage girl, especially a 70-pound teenage girl!"
No shit. Her mother told KHOU her daughter will not be returning to Sam Houston High. The family is currently looking into transfer opportunities. Good idea.