Distressing footage has emerged of two Chicago cops tasering a 16-year-old girl at her high school.
The incident happened at Marshall High School on January 29, when 16-year-old Dnigma Howard was sent home for having her cellphone out in class. Laurentio Howard has filed a federal lawsuit against the school district, the Chicago Police Department and officers Johnnie Pierre and Sherry Tripp, accusing the defendants of violating his daughter's civil rights.
Dnigma is participating in the "Behavior Intervention Plan and Individualized Education Program", which is meant to help students resolve learning issues with the help of a guidance counselor.
Chicago area authorities under the aegis of the Cook County Juvenile Court initially took the police's word over Howard's-presumably because the original cell phone video of the incident only showed the aftermath of Howard fighting back-kicking the officers-in response. She was defending herself.
As the girl lay on the ground at the bottom of the stairs, the video shows one officer stepping on her while the second officer punches her.
The video...appears to contradict the officers' statements that the student initiated the violent encounter after the incident to justify their use of force - again raising questions of the oversight, training and stationing of police officers in Chicago Public Schools.
He said Howard 'did not instigate or provoke any type of attack'.
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"The video doesn't capture all of the interaction the student has with the police".
Dnigma previously acknowledged she resisted the officers - and she can be seen struggling as officers try to restrain her - but says she was responding to the officers' actions.
The other officer, who has also not been named, grabs the teenager's arm.
"She don't trust nobody no more", Howard confessed to NBC Chicago. The officers stand on either side of Dnigma as she talks to another student and gives her a hug. Video eventually shows the officers punching the girl, standing on her chest and shocking her with the stun gun. "And if I don't jump in, they're going to hurt my daughter really bad"'. Photos taken after the incident show a cut across her face; she was treated at a local hospital after the assault.
Howard has also switched schools since the incident occurred.
In an transparent attempt to appeal to the power structure that protects the police, Stroth called on Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot to implement recommendations and reforms that have been worked out between the school district and the Chicago Police Department regarding responsibilities and procedures of "school resource officers".
Laurentio Howard, the girl's father, is suing the city, the two officers and the Chicago Board of Education in the US District Court for the Northern District of IL, accusing them of violating her civil rights and physically abusing her without justification.