ROUND ROCK, Texas — A Round Rock police officer's actions are igniting a firestorm on social media after he was caught on camera putting his hands around a student's throat.
Gyasi Hughes is suspended from Round Rock High School today due to a fight between him and another student over a pair of prescription sports goggles. But it's what happened afterwards that has him speaking out.
Two Round Rock School Resource Officers were called by an administrator to help break up the fight between the two students. In cell phone video, shot by another student, the officers are seen trying to calm Hughes down. But when the 14 year old puts his hand on the officer, the cop grabs him by the throat and takes him to the ground.
"I was mad because he kept pushing me and touching me and I wasn't physically doing anything to him either. That's when I said 'can you leave me alone' and that's when he took me down," said Gyasi Hughes.
Hughes' friend, Sebastian Vazquez was eating lunch when he heard the commotion.
"In the beginning, I heard people be like ooh and stuff, and it was Gyasi and this other kid, they were pushing each other around," he said. But Vazquez says it was never a full-blown fight, and things got more tense when two school resource officers showed up. "Both cops got him in the corner, so I pulled my phone out to start recording because that seemed odd," said Vazquez.
Yet another friend shared Vazquez's video with KEYE TV. "The officer that handled this problem exaggerated way too much," said Ryan Tomlinson. "Somebody needs to know about this. We have to let the news know about this so I uploaded the video to news with their permission," said Tomlinson.
In a statement from the Round Rock Police Department a spokesperson said, "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." Adding, "This incident is currently under review by the police department staff."
A Round Rock ISD spokesperson said the school is working with the police department to make sure proper procedures were followed.
Hughes' dad wants the officer reprimanded. "In terms of the officer it was definitely excessive force that was being used. There's many ways to handle situations and the way he handled the situation was unacceptable," said Kashka Hughes.