Two newly released body camera videos shows a school resource officer picking up an elementary student, carrying him, face-planting him for twelve minutes before handcuffing him.
All because the autistic10-year-old child was having an episode.
The incident took place in April at Alexander Elementary School in Denton, Texas.
According to Denton Police, the 10-year-old was disrupting the class by swinging a computer mouse near other kids.
The video shows Denton police officer Eric Coulston backing the boy into the classroom cubbies and then picking him up before taking him to the school’s “SOAR room.”
A SOAR room,
which is named after the organization, Strengthening Outcomes with Autism Resources, is built specifically for students with autism where they can go calm down.
But Coulston’s actions did anything but calm the situation down.
According to CBS:
“Father Robert Brown said the officer carried Thomas into a quiet place called a “soar room” and “face planted” the child. “I actually feel helpless for him,” he said.”
There was a de-escalation process set in place between the school and the parents, and that was not followed, according to WFAA.
The child’s mother also told CBS that he has anxiety due to trust issues.
The mother, Emily Davis Brown, took to Facebook asking for help.
” Ya’ll, I need your help. This is the first 3 minutes of an unedited bodycam video that shows my 10yr old autistic son being abused at the hands of his SPED teacher and an SRO officer that works for Denton PD, Texas. The police report indicates that my son was a serious threat to others citing that he poked a kid with an eraser and was swinging a computer mouse around other children; however this is NOT shown on the video. This ordeal lasted for 3 hours and the school and PD say that there was no wrongdoing in their handling of the situation. The 2nd video is much worse where he is handcuffed for throwing tissue and restrained a 3rd time for crawling to the door and could not breathe for several seconds (see 1:15). No child deserves this and these statements are not exaggerated. Please share. This occured at Lee Elementary which is now known as Alexander Elementary, Denton TX. “
Even though the child ended up with bruises, both the Denton Police Department and school district released statements stating they believed the officer acted accordingly and within policy, according to Star-Telegram.
An advocate for special needs children who works with the Browns, Michael Holum, states that if the department thinks the officer acted accordingly, then there needs to be a third-party review on a state or federal level.
Officer Coulston still works as a school resource officer at a middle school in the same district.
This is not the first time a Texas resource officer got violent with a student. Back in 2016, Joshua Kehm, was fired for body slamming a 12-year-old.
In September of 2016, a Denton Police Department patrol car was covered in spray paint.