NEWS

School Police Officers Allegedly Beat High School Student for Being Late

By Matthew Harwood

Outraged parents and a national civil rights organization are demanding an investigation into allegations made by a Philadelphia high school junior that two school police officers beat him for being late to school, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jeffione Thomas, 17, a running back for the Frankford High Pioneers, acknowledges that he was late for school Oct. 29 when the two officers followed him into the building.

Just inside the school doors, Thomas said, the officers "jumped" him and knocked him unconscious. One put him in handcuffs while the other continued to beat him, Thomas said.

Several students watched as school surveillance cameras captured the episode.

"The beating lasted seven to 10 minutes," said senior Denzel Parker-Dixon. He said it took five administrators to pull the officers off Thomas.

The assault, Thomas said, left him with a bruised eye and a torn lip that required six stitches.

After receiving medical care at a nearby hospital, Thomas was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly hitting the school police officers. The school said it has opened two investigations: one into the actions of Thomas and one into the actions of the two officers.

The school police officers union told the Inquirer that it had conducted its own investigation into the incident but would not comment on the investigation's findings. The two security officers have since been moved from Frankford High School.

Gregory Brinkley, Philadelphia chapter president of the National Action Network, called the school district's investigation "a sham" alleging investigators never spoke to Thomas and tried to persuade witnesses to change their stories.

He also said the incident at Frankford High had opened a "Pandora's Box," and that his organization would investigate other allegations of school police officers abusing students. Brinkley alleged another security guard at another Philadelphia school, known as "Sarge," had assaulted students while wearing boxing gloves.


♦ Screenshot of Frankford High School Web site/School District of Philadelphia

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