Race & Identity
Former School Resource Officers May Face Prison Time For Body-Slamming Student
They could face six months to five years in prison.
Two Louisiana police officers seen slamming a middle school student on video have been indicted by a West Baton Rouge Parish grand jury for battery and malfeasance.
The indictments of former Brusly Police Department officers Dan Cipriano and Anthony Dupre were announced December 14, ABC News reports. Court documents show the former officers worked at Brusly Middle School in central Louisiana when they assaulted of the 14-year-old Black boy.
In October, the pair responded to a disturbance call claiming the teen was arguing with school administrators. Kwame Asante, a lawyer representing the student and his family, told The Advocate the teen was sent to the office for using profanity on the playground.
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Once in the office, the teen began to argue about how long he should be in detention, USA Today reports. Local reports claim he tried to leave the detention office, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Surveillance footage from the incident shows Dupre manhandling the teen. As office workers looked on, the teen was body-slammed against a wall while still wearing his backpack. ABC News notes one of the officers grabbed the student's neck during the struggle.
According to The Advocate, Dupre claimed the teen attempted to reach for a weapon. Footage shows the man handing an object to an administrator, yet it is difficult to identify.
The video released to the public doesn't contain audio, but the footage does capture the violent nature of the encounter. Cipriano is seen entering the frame before slamming the teen's face into a desk. They eventually stopped and handcuffed the student. Nearly a month after the incident, both officers resigned.
Cipriano was charged with simple battery, while Dupre was charged with malfeasance. Under Louisana law, Dupre could face up to five years in prison and have to pay a $5,000 fine. Cipriano's punishment could be a six-month prison sentence and a fine up to $1,000.
The teen has returned to school and is receiving counseling. He is doing well considering the circumstances; however, his family believes the former officers' punishment isn't enough.
"They feel the DA's office did an adequate job by bringing it quickly to the people, but feel it was a slap on the wrist based on the tape and what they saw done to their grandson," Asante told The Advocate Friday. "This young man will still be dealing with this for a long time."
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