A video uploaded to YouTube last week shows a Detroit school cop shove, kick, drag and pepper spray a 15-year-old student after she broke a school rule and stepped on an elevator with an expired hall pass, attempting to get to class on time.
On December of 2015, Cass Technical High School tenth-grader Destiny Heard, who’d never been in trouble before, was running late for class, so she decided to take the elevator to her sixth-floor classroom instead of the stairs.
The pass she showed the teacher was expired, so she was ordered to get off the elevator. The teacher then alleged she was trying to get back on the elevator with her expired pass and called for a security guard, who then demanded identification.
After a few words were exchanged and she refused to ID, she headed up to the second floor where she was met by another security guard and Orlando Bogins, the dean of students.
According to Heard, Bogins began shouting at her for being insubordinate. And after she asked him not to yell at her in the hallway, he ignored her and continue to reprimand her.
Heard then plugged her earbuds into her smart phone and ignored him.
Bogins then walked away and left her alone with the school cop, Charles Braziel.
The video begins when the angry cop grabs the phone from Heard and swings her around by her backpack. When she tries to walk way, officer Braziel slams her head into the wall and pushes her on the floor into a corner.
While kneeling in the corner on the floor, the school cop then doused her face with pepper spray. After Braziel maces Heard not much appears to be going on.
But Braziel continues to stand over Heard as she sits in the corner with a face full of pepper spray.
Towards the end of the video, as Braziel hovers over the 15-year-old attempting to get her to stand up, he grabs her hair, drags her and even kicks her before he ultimately picks her up and carries her away as she flails her arms and legs wanting to get away from the cop.
Heard, who has asthma, was then taken to the hospital and listed in temporary serious condition.
The criminal chargers were dropped after prosecutors saw video evidence showing what actually happened.
“I truly did not expect anything like this to happen when I went to school. I’ve read about police brutality and read about it happening at other schools, but you don’t think, Oh I am going to school, and this is what’s going to happen to me. I was absolutely hysterical and surprised, I didn’t understand what I did wrong,” said Heard in her interview with VICE.
After an investigation, the Detroit Pubic Schools Police Department’s report found Braziel followed proper procedures as they’re outlined in the Force Continuum Policy written in the DPS Police Officer Manual.
Although at least some teachers at Cass Tech disagree.
“I don’t care what the girl did leading up to this, this is wrong, this is police brutality. In class discussions, students sometimes broach the topic of police brutality, but it is truly shocking and heartbreaking to see an example of it hit so close to home,” said Joel Berger, a Cass Tech English teacher after he saw the video.
Venus Heard, Destiny’s mother, said her daughter may have broken the school’s rules, but there was no need for violence or brutality.
“Just write her up for being insubordinate.”