Matt Agorist–The family of a special needs student at Mayde Creek High School has filed a lawsuit against the school district after disturbing video showed a Katy ISD police officer repeatedly taser their son until he defecated himself and threw up. His “crime”? Trying to walk outside.
The video, taken from Katy ISD officer Elvin Paley’s body camera shows 17-year-old Jevon Washington attempt to walk out of the school after he began to have some sort of panic attack while in class.
The incident happened in November of 2016 and the video is just now being released as Washington’s mother has come forward after she says no one is answering her questions.
“This was not necessary, it was excessive force,” Jevon’s mother, Lori Washington told ABC13.
On that November day, Washington who is in special education at the school, says he was merely trying to go outside to “blow off some steam, but a male school official blocked him, asking him over and over why he wanted to leave.”
As the video shows, Washington and the school official are peacefully talk and the special needs student is pleading with him to just let him get some air. After begin denied multiple times, Washington then tries to walk out the door, but that’s when all hell broke loose.
As Washington opens the door, the officer Paley holds him back and then tasers him without warning. After the initial taser strike, the officer yells at the teen using profanity saying, “Don’t you move God damn it!”
The school cop then holds the taser to the child’s head while using profanity once again, saying, “I did not want to tase you, but you don’t run shit here.”
After he had been repeatedly tasered, Washington says her son defecated himself. And, in the video, you can hear the teen throw up once he is on the ground.
“Big kid. I got tired of wrestling with him,” Paley said, before noting that the kid had not committed any crime.
“You have any charges on him?” asks a KISD Police supervisor.
“I don’t have any charges on him,” answers Paley.
“The use of force was never necessary here because if the officer had just left him alone all that would have happened was that a young man would have gone outside,” said legal analyst Chris Tritico to FOX 26.
Washington says her son has the mental capacity of a 9-year-old and that he has trouble communicating. She said she tried to ask Katy ISD officials why her son was tasered instead of the officers trying to de-escalate. However, she never received a response.
“They don’t have the adequate training to deal with this population. This kid has been traumatized. Yea, he’s on a second grade level, but he has fears, he has feelings like everyone else,” said Special Needs Advocate Louis Geigerman.
“It’s training, training, training. I think that this officer either didn’t use his training or didn’t have enough training. This guy has given Katy ISD a black eye that they did not need,” said Dr. Bob Sanborn of Children at Risk.
ABC 13 reached out to Katy ISD to inquire about their use of force policy and if this disturbing incident sparked an internal investigation. They did not comment on this case, nor did they release any information on their use of force policy.
Katy ISD released only the following statement:
“As is the case with many legal matters, the district is not in the position to comment on pending litigation. However, the safety of all of our students is our number one priority as we focus on creating environments conducive to learning and personal growth.”
Washington says she has repeatedly asked what happened in the classroom that made her son want to walk out of the door but she says they refuse to tell her.
“And I’m not saying that everybody in Katy ISD is bad people, I just say this situation was handled wrongly and I want it corrected because I don’t want to see any other child or parent go through what I went through,” she added.
“He has nightmares. Every so often you hear him hollering don’t tase me, or stop it. We have to wake him up out of his sleep,” said Washington.
If you’d like to peacefully voice your concern over officer Paley repeatedly tasering an innocent special needs child for trying to walk outside, you can do so at the Katy ISD police department’s Facebook page, here.