Did School Official Use Chokehold On Student? (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Mack Henry BurgessMack Henry Burgess

An intense fight between two girls at Kingstree Senior High School in South Carolina on May 2 may land one school official in jail (video below).

A cell phone video shows two school officials trying to break up the fight. One of the officials, identified by police as Mack Henry Burgess, appears to have his arm around one girl's neck, notes WCSC.

The girl does not appear to reach for her own throat, as if her oxygen is being cut off, but rather continues to advance towards the other student. Towards the end of the video, the girl slumps down on the ground.

The girl's mom, Yalonda Nesmith, filed a police report that accused Burgess of holding her 15-year-old daughter "so tightly that the juvenile lost consciousness and went limp."

"My daughter was in a chokehold to the point where her feet were off the ground and she was reaching for her neck for them to turn her loose," Nesmith stated.

The police report said that an officer, who watched the video, and a Williamsburg County magistrate judge believed there was probable cause to arrest Burgess, but a few hours later the judge decided to hold a hearing with both sides., which originally posted the cell phone video, also published Nesmith's position:

It's about my daughter but it's about other kids. When this has happened to other kids in Williamsburg County at this school and other schools, what they do, they sweep all this stuff under the rug and its never let known. This is just a fight for the kids and for other parents who don't go through these things. I'm going through with this because this is my child. Anything could have happened to her. She could have died from this.

I don't condone my daughter fighting and I talked about fighting. But I do condone my daughter taking up for herself. I always tell my kids they're not supposed to fight. You're supposed to let somebody know what's going on. But if you get into a situation where you have no choice but to defend yourself then I do condone my daughter defending herself.

Kingstree Police Chief Eric Williams said on May 5 that the investigation was in progress and his officer was trying to work out a dispute with a judge.

"When an officer and a judge butt heads, that doesn't work out too well," Williams told The Post and Courier. "We pretty much have to proceed as the process allows us to."

Burgess is reportedly listed as an assistant principal on a school website, but is noted as a coach with a doctorate in the police report, according to The Post and Courier.

Sources: WCSC,, The Post and Courier / Photo credit: CBS North Carolina/YouTube

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