Security officer in alleged assault at Woodside HS placed on administrative leave

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- Newport News Public Schools released a statement Saturday saying that the security officer involved in an alleged assault at Woodside High School was placed on administrative leave.

A student at Woodside High School said he was attacked by a security officer on Friday.

Newport News Public Schools released this statement regarding the incident:

Newport News Public Schools strives to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. The security officer involved in the Woodside High School incident has been removed from his duties and placed on administrative leave. A thorough investigation is underway.

The student's mother is in the process of filing a police report and could be suing as well.

“I was angry. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, and I was livid,” said Stephanie Smith.

Smith has seen multiple videos of her son, Eric, being held down by the officer outside Woodside High School Friday.

“He slammed my son on the sidewalk. Eric was telling him to, ‘Get off of me,’ then he put his arms around him choking him. He is screaming and crying at the same time. ‘I cannot breathe, I cannot breathe.'”

Eric Miller, who is in 11th grade, said class had just let out and he was heading for the school bus when the officer approached him.

“I kept walking and he was like, ‘No, come here,’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not trying to miss my bus. I’m trying to get on my bus,’ and so then he grabbed me,” said Miller.

Fellow student Jacob Crosby was one of dozens who witnessed the altercation.

“The officer at the school took him to the ground and put him in a chokehold, and the boy couldn’t breathe,” said Crosby.

“And I started yelling, ‘I couldn’t breathe,’ but he squeezed tighter as I was yelling,” said Miller.

Crosby’s dad doesn’t even know Eric, but said what he does know is what he saw on camera isn’t right.
“Because I know my kids are at that school, and what if that happened to one of them,” said John Crosby.

Miller, who suffered bruises to his neck and arms, was eventually allowed to go without any explanation from the school. He said he’s worried about returning on Monday.

“He should be there to protect kids, not hurt them,” said Miller.

“He needs to be fired,” added his mother.

Smith said she is still waiting for an explanation from the school as to what led to all this in the first place.

“This needs to be addressed, because my son was assaulted by officers that are employed by Newport News Public Schools, and I’m not going to let that slide,” said Smith.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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