A high school student was beaten up and severely injured by a police officer after his teacher accused him of bringing cigarettes to school. Now, his schoolmates are rallying behind him after the school shared their intention of expelling him.
A Public Outcry for Justice
After a shocking video of an 18-year-old student being brutally beaten by a Jefferson Parish Sheriff deputy went viral online, nothing but outrage erupted outside the L.W. Higgins High School in the suburb of Marrero near New Orleans.
Not only are his co-students angered by the lack of protection the teenager had from their school officials, but because he is still being treated unfairly even after the incident.
According to WWL-TV, students from all levels gathered at the school to let the administration know that they denounce what happened to their fellow schoolmate, especially for the way they handled the situation.
The teen, identified as Jami Coston, FaceTimed his mom to show her the situation of his face, where blood was dripping from on top of his eyes. His mom, Dasuqua Coston, shared that she's "never seen a face dripping like that," describing how swollen her son's face was.
"It looked like it was coming mostly from his eye. His lip looked busted. [His] eye is busted, blood is leaked all over his school shirt... leaking everywhere."
A Teacher's Report
The tragic incident happened on Thursday when officials were called in after Coston reportedly disrupted his class after a teacher accused him of bringing cigarettes to school because he smelled like it. The dean at the school then asked a school resource officer (SRO) to search the Black teenager, which then angered the teen.
After Jami refused to cooperate with the officers, that's when he was "escorted to the ground." However, since he did not want to cooperate and even tried to fight back, the deputy suffered scrapes to his knee and right hand, while Coston suffered from a cut near his left eye that had his face bleeding profusely.
When the teen was brought to the office, he reportedly tried to pull away again, which forced the deputy to tackle the teenager once again. However, a youth advocacy group called ReThink believes that is not exactly what happened.
According to their Facebook post,
“While in handcuffs, Jami cussed at the officer at which time he was taken against his will into a room with no camera no witnesses. Jami was so badly brutalized that behind closed doors, students could hear his loud cry of pain. Rather than intervene, teachers refused to allow students to support their classmate. They heard him getting beat up by police over an unproven accusation of smelling like cigarettes.”
A Tragic Turn of Events
In the end, it turns out Coston was not allowed to file his own incident report about what happened, and the family was not notified until he called his mother on Facetime. He is now being detained at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center for resisting an officer, battery on a police officer, and interfering with an educational facility.
Meanwhile, his family and schoolmates have led a protest in the school, after they shared their plans of expelling the teenager, who was set to graduate in May. For now, he remains in custody on a $2000 bond.
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