Surveillance footage from May 19 shows a school officer beating handicapped Oakland High student Francisco Martinez before dumping him out of his wheelchair.
Afflicted with cerebral palsy, Martinez can’t use his legs and gets around the campus in a wheelchair. The 17-year-old claims that the officer slapped him so hard that he was flung out of his chair, landing chin first on floor.
According the high school principal Matin Abdel-Qawi, Martinez was lingering in the hallway with some other kids as security officers urged him to get to class on May 19. After freshman reportedly refused to move, the officer proceeded to wheel him down the hall. The student resisted by slapping the officer’s hands, prompting the officer to handcuff him.
At this point, Martinez turned around and spat in the officer’s face, who responded by smacking the student several times before throwing him out of the chair.
Security officer Marchell Mitchell was fired on the day of the incident and has been charged with injuring a child. And yet, students have started a petition in support of Mitchell. Students at Oakland High School say Martinez provoked the officer, but the handicapped student claims that spitting was the only way he could fight back.