Asah Glenn, a 14-year-old freshman at Alcovy High School in Covington, Ga., was allegedly brutally manhandled by deputies and a coach at his high school for taking a Snickers bar out of an open vending machine.
Attorneys, who spoke on behalf of the student, accused the sheriff’s deputies of using excessive force on their client when they body slammed the 125-pound boy for stealing candy.
Newton County Sheriff’s Department explained that there was confusion with reference to the initial call made to the department. Deputies thought there was an altercation, but arrived to kids rummaging through a vending machine that had been opened somehow.
Students began rushing the vending machine as school officials unsuccessfully tried to stop them. School resource officers tried as well. That’s when the deputies intervened and Green was grabbed and then slammed into the cement ground by a deputy who was almost double his size.
The incident was captured on video by another student.
The video showed that he didn’t try to run away with the candy nor was he resisting when he was grabbed.
“When I had the Snickers in my hand, I saw the coach in my peripheral vision, so I dropped the Snickers bar, and that’s when they used force on me,” Glenn said.
Another student, who remains unidentified, was pepper-sprayed during the incident. The sheriff’s department has denied that anyone was slammed or brutalized, even though there’s video evidence, indicating otherwise.
His attorney, Maluwi Davis, was appalled by the video and stated: “He’s a ninth grader. They goof off, they make dumb decisions, but nothing that would warrant the level of violence you see in this video.”
The Newton County School System responded to the incident with this statement:
“In addition to possible legal charges, students involved in the theft will be disciplined for violating the student code of conduct. We are aware of the student’s allegation and have forwarded the information to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office for review.”
Green was suspended from school for three days and charges of theft and disorderly conduct have been filed against him. The officer in question has been reassigned to another job pending an investigation by the sheriff’s department.
The teens involved, definitely, did something wrong. However, it’s safe to say that if these students had been white, the reactions from trained law enforcement agents would have been different.
Alcovy High School has a 62% minority population and 64% of the students are economically disadvantaged.
*Reader Question* Do you think that excessive force was used against the boy according to the video What would an appropriate punishment be