Port Allen, LA – Two former Brusly police officers were indicted by a grand jury in West Baton Rouge Parish for using excessive force on a 14-year-old student in October (video below).
The incident occurred during the school day on Oct. 5 at Brusly Middle School, after a student got into a verbal altercation with the vice principal over how long he had to be in detention.
The student went to the school office to call his grandmother to take him home and that’s where the incident occurred, WAFB reported.
School office surveillance video caught some of the incident, but most of the struggle took place on the office floor, and the view was obscured by a counter.
The video showed that Brusly Police Officer Anthony “Kip” Dupre entered the office and said something to the student, pointing at him.
When the officer got closer to the student, the boy turned and suddenly tried to leave the room.
Office Dupre grabbed him around the neck as he tried to get by, and took him to the ground, the video showed.
Although much of the struggle on the ground was obscured from the cameras, witnesses in the office said that during the struggle, the boy tried to take the officer’s gun.
At about a minute-and-a-half into the video, the officer can be seen delivering some strikes to the student, and then he reaches around to hand his gun to another adult who was watching the fight.
She placed his gun on the desk initially, but then moved it farther away from the altercation, out of camera range.
Sources told WAFB that the 14-year-old student admitted to having tried to take the officer’s duty weapon.
The same sources said that the student had fought with other police officers on campus on two other occasions.
In the video, the officer can be seen reaching up to place his glasses and then his radio on the counter, safely out of the fray.
Two minutes and 15 seconds into the video, one of the office staff picked up the officer’s radio and appeared to make a radio call for more assistance for Officer Dupre as he continued to wrestle with the student on the floor.
One minute later, Brusly Police Officer Dan Cipriano arrived in the office to back up Officer Dupre.
The student was brought quickly under control as soon as the second officer arrived, the video showed.
The officers handcuffed the student together, and then Officer Cipriano hauled the teenager to his feet.
As the 14 year old continued to struggle and resist arrest in an attempt to get at Officer Dupre again, Officer Cipriano put him face down on the counter until he calmed down, and then both officers escorted the student out of the office.
Both officers were placed on leave after the incident, pending the investigation.
Brusly Police Chief Jonathan Lafeaux said that both officers resigned after the incident. He also said they’d each been with the police force for about three years.
The Louisiana State Police began an immediate investigation of the incident, but the district attorney announced the case would go before a grand jury regardless of what was determined by the state police investigators, WAFB reported.
In the meantime, the boy’s grandmother got an attorney and began talking publicly about filing a civil rights lawsuit against the school and the police officers.
She claimed that her grandson had suffered minor physical injuries, and what she feared would be lasting psychological damage, from the incident.
When the state police investigation was finished and no arrests were made, the prosecutor, Tony Clayton, brought both officers before the grand jury.
The grand jury decided to charge former Officer Cipriano with simple battery and former Officer Dupre with malfeasance, a felony, according to The Advocate.
You can see video of the altercation in the video below: