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Officer cleared of wrongdoing in high school incident caught on video

Courtesy: Sebastian Vazquez

The Round Rock Police officer caught on video grabbing a Round Rock High School student by the throat has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the Round Rock Police Department.


According to a statement released by the department, Officer Rigo Valles was investigated by Internal Affairs:

After the review of all videos, statements and facts in this case it has been determined there were no violations of Department policies, procedures or training.
The Round Rock Police Department takes all incidents seriously. We continue to work in partnership with the Round Rock Independent School District to make sure we are operating to the highest standard for the safety of our students, faculty and administration.

In October, 14-year-old Gyasi Hughes was suspended from Round Rock High School due to a fight between him and another student over a pair of prescription sports goggles.

Afterward, two Round Rock School Resource Officers were called by an administrator to help break up the fight between Hughes and the other student. In cell phone video, shot by another student, the officers are seen trying to calm Hughes down. But when Hughes puts his hand on the officer, the cop grabs him by the throat and takes him to the ground.

"What policy would justify an officer choking a 14-year-old kid and body slamming him based on that level of opposition," said Austin NAACP President, Nelson Linder.

Linder said the NAACP is backing the family and is calling for the Department of Justice to get involved.

"We are going to mobilize and make sure we address this issue," said Linder. "The family is going sit tight, and we are going to win this case because they're wrong. This isn't right in any civilized society."

Round Rock Police temporarily reassigned Officer Valles to another school district, however he was never placed on administrative leave.

The Hughes family has since moved out of state.

In a statement from the Round Rock Police Department in October, a spokesperson released the following statement:

After repeated attempts to calm the non-compliant student, and stop him from going after the other student, officers were forced to detain him for his safety and the safety of others.

Round Rock ISD also released the following statement:

The safety of every student, staff member and community member in our schools continues to be our top priority. We need a safe learning environment in order to ensure we are effectively serving students.
Round Rock ISD is continuously improving our partnerships with law enforcement and our campus administrators to ensure our procedures are aligned in the best interests of students.


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