Three officers were recently caught on camera holding down a female high school student as she screamed at the top of her lungs. Now, officials are investigating the incident.
According to KHOU, the girl in the video, Ixel Perez, was using her cell phone in class at Sam Houston High School in Houston, Texas and was tackled by the officers when she refused to hand it over. Another student was able to capture the incident on camera.
Perez says her mother has been undergoing dialysis due to kidney problems, and when she used her phone, it was because her father needed to update her on her mother’s treatment that day.
“I checked my phone, that’s the only reason I got sent out of class by my reading teacher,” said Perez, per ABC 13 News. “And my reading teacher was talking to me and the AP comes into the conversation and just said ‘Give me your phone, give me your phone.’ I did not want to give her my phone because I was still worried about my mama.”
Perez says she walked away from administrators out of frustration, and at that moment, the cops were called. Perez began to call her mother, and just when her mother answered, the officers confronted her.
“I didn’t want to let go of my phone so they like, pinned me down to the floor,” Perez recounted. “One of them was behind me, like on my legs and trying to put the handcuffs on. It hurt a lot. And the other cop has his knee on my head, all his weight on me, and I was screaming because it hurt so much. I was crying because I thought I was going to get in trouble with my mom.”
Perez’s mother Gladys Santos says she believes the officers went too far, and the video backs that claim up.
“I want the police out and the police to stop abusing our kids,” Santos said. “The assistant principal and the principal; they are the ones that have started all this in the school with the new rules. I understand she break the rules, but they have to understand that students have problems, too. Teenagers have problems, too. They went too far.”
Click 2 Houston reports that since the incident and Perez’s subsequent suspension, students and parents have begun protesting outside the school, and the story has launched a firestorm of controversy online.