AKRON, Ohio - A mother is calling for an Akron police officer to be fired after she says the officer used excessive force in an Oct. 26 incident that broke her 14-year-old daughter's arm.
Sandra Williams said, "I feel like if it had been, if I had done that to my child, I would be locked up in jail. My other kids would be in Children's Services. So I feel like this officer needs to be removed from the school and charged with a felony."
Williams' attorney, Eddie Sipplen said, "He went from 0-60 without any provocation. Had this been a regular person doing this, this person would have been charged with felonious assault."
Sipplen sat with his teenage client and her mother as he commented on the school surveillance video that shows the 8th grader, Tamika Williams, being subdued by a school police officer. In the video, you see the School Resource Officer push her to a set of lockers and begin to place her in an arm lock.
But the video, Sipplen said, shows nothing but excessive force, and it's why they are now fighting to have the officer removed.
"He should have never put his hands on her," Sipplen continued.
The incident happened back in late October inside Akron's Jennings Community Learning Center. Sipplen said it was Williams' second day there on a disciplinary transfer, when according to the officer's incident report, he claimed to have witnessed Williams cursing and pulling papers off the wall.
Williams and her attorney said otherwise, but things quickly escalated when the officer wrote, again in the incident report, Williams "turned into me with her chest, like a chest bump." Sipplen said the officer then broke the teen's arm trying to "gain control and affect the arrest."
Sipplen argued, "He never once tried to arrest her, he never once tried to put handcuffs on her."
The teen's mother said an older sibling had to take Williams to the hospital.
The Akron Police Department's Public Information Officer is not commenting on the open investigation.
A spokesperson for the Akron Public School District provided a statement saying, "This was a serious and unfortunate incident. We are investigating what exactly happened and are reviewing policies and procedures with the Akron Police Department."
Paul Hlynsky, President of Akron's Police Union, spoke with NewsChannel5 on Thursday. Hlynsky said as of right now, there is no reason not to defend the officer involved, adding he is calling for a fair and thorough investigation.
"The video tapes only provide a part of the story. They don't provide a complete story and so I expect the Chief and demand of the Chief to conduct a fair investigation," said Hlynsky.
Hlynsky did not know off hand of any prior incidents involving the School Resource Officer. He also said the officer was chosen for the position in part because of his personality and ability to work with kids.
Sipplen, however, claimed the officer has a significant past involving students and excessive force.
NewsChannel5 could not independently confirm this Thursday. There is no information on whether or not the officer has been removed from the middle school due to this incident.
Sipplen is also investigating other issues related to this incident and said a lawsuit may be filed.
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