A 16-year-old high school student is sharing her side of the story after she was tased by a Chicago Police Officer and charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery to a peace officer after an altercation with officers last week.
According to Fox32 Chicago, the two officers were attempting to escort Dnigma Howard out of the school building after she got into some kind of incident with the Marshall High School’s assistant principal. Dnigma says the entire fallout started when she pulled out her cellphone in class as students were taking their final exams. The teen became angry, and her father was called to pick her up.
Her father, Laurentio Howard, actually saw the moment the encounter with police became violent.
“They walk up the stairs and the next thing you know, I see my daughter on her back coming down the first flight of stairs with the Chicago police officer on top of her,” the father said. “They had my daughter on the ground like that and throwing her around and the officer had his foot in my daughter’s stomach, on her leg, she’s screaming I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.’
Video taken by an unidentified student shows the teen on the ground struggling while an officer is seen stepping on her foot, leg, and stomach.
Police claim that the teen became aggressive and bit an officer, refusing to let go until they both fell down the stairs. Dnmiga Howard, on the other hand, claimed that she felt that the officer was trying to push her down the stairwell and was defending herself with her teeth.
“I tried to walk the other way. He put his hand out in front of me and like pushed me toward the stairway which I reacted to grab his vest,” the teen said.
The two officers have since been removed from their duties at the high school, with the school district noting in a statement, “CPS strives to create safe and supportive learning environments for all students, and this disturbing incident has absolutely no place in our schools. To ensure a thorough review of this situation is conducted, we are asking the district’s Office of the Inspector General to review the matter and we will fully support the ongoing investigation by the City’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability.”
Although Laurentio Howard is happy that the officers were removed from the school, he still has questions as to why his daughter’s Behavior Intervention Plan and Individualized Education Program, both of which are on file with the school district, were not followed.
According to the father, instead of attempting to remove the teen from the school building on Tuesday, she should have been allowed to talk to her counselor.
Now, instead, the situation has been escalated and she is facing charges for injuries to the officers.
According to Fox32, one officer was treated at the University of Illinois Hospital for injuries to the face, leg, back, and shoulder, while the other officer was treated for injuries to the back, hand, knee and groin area.