An unidentified 16-year-old black male was arrested on May 25 on the campus of St. Paul Central High School in Minnesota by School Resource Officer Bill Kraus. Part of the arrest was filmed, and has sparked cries of unnecessary force (video below).
Nelson Moroukian, an 18-year-old student, filmed the incident, posted the video on Facebook and wrote:
Just witnessed the officer at Central high school mace and brutalize this apparently peaceful teenager.
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My principal has called me and asked me to change the narrative of this post to give a more accurate representation of what [occurred]. He was trespassing and, according to officials, not cooperating with the officer. I have also been told he was not a Central student.
Despite this, people do not deserve to be treated this way. While there I could clearly hear that he was attempting to do what the officer was telling him to, while the officer continued to hold him down with a knee in his back.
In the video, the teen calls for help as Kraus tells him that he is under arrest for trespassing.
Kraus takes the teen down on the concrete steps where the young man says that he was coming to see a teacher. Kraus drives a knee into his back and tells the teen to put his hands behind his back.
Kraus pulls one of the teen's arms back and demands that he surrender the other arm, but the young man insists that he can't because Kraus is on top of him.
The teen curses and calls for help as Kraus tells him again to put his other hand back. The teen says, again, that he is not able because Kraus remains on top of him.
Kraus eventually handcuffs the young man's other hand and leads him to a police car. A woman, possibly a school official, tells Moroukian not to film, but he continues.
The teen tells Moroukian that he has been "maced."
The woman steps in front of Moroukian, and tries to stop him from filming, but he keeps rolling.
The video ends with the teen locked inside a St. Paul police car.
"I still feel like the officer behaved appallingly," Moroukian told Pioneer Press. "That’s not the right way to treat anybody, especially a student, and especially when you are a police officer at a school."
Toya Stewart Downey, spokeswoman for St. Paul Public Schools, said the teen used to go to the school, but had transferred to another school that was outside of the school district. Downey alleged that the teen had been in a school building for about an hour before employees realized the teen wasn't supposed to be on campus.
"He was asked to leave several times and didn’t," Downey stated.
St. Paul Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster said that the teen had "no reason" to be at the school, notes City Pages, and added: "Central High has been having problems with trespassers this past year. Some of those trespassers have come into the school to assault students. In this case the suspect failed to check in at the front desk as visitors are required to do."
Rashad Turner, an activist with Black Lives Matter St. Paul, said that there would be a protest on the campus on May 26.
The school's Pan-African Student Union is planning to meet on May 26 to plan their response to the incident.
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE