Outrage: Student in Wheelchair Beaten, Thrown to Ground by School Security Guard
A California school security guard has been caught on camera hitting a special needs student in a wheelchair.
Francisco Martinez told KTVU “he slapped me. He hit me so hard, it threw me out of my chair. I hit the floor with my chin first. I had a scar right there.”
The security guard has since been identified as 23-year-old Marchell Mitchell, a substitute school resource officer.
Mitchell was reportedly ushering kids into their classrooms and 17-year-old Martinez, who suffers from cerebral palsy, “either refused to comply or was slow to do so,” Principal Matin Abdel-Qawi wrote in a letter to parents.
When Mitchell began to push Martinez’ wheelchair, the boy objected and tried to push his hands off the chair. Mitchell then reportedly handcuffed the boy to the chair at which point Martinez says he felt helpless and tried to spit at the officer.
He told KTVU “I was handcuffed, so I didn’t have no way to defend myself.”
That’s when Mitchell got violent, hitting the student and reportedly throwing him to the ground.
According to the principal, “the security officer struck the student several times before dumping him from his wheelchair onto the floor, at which time another security officer intervened to restrain his partner.”
Mitchell was quickly fired and was arrested by Oakland police for corporal injury to a child.
Abdel-Qaqi wrote “I’m shocked and deeply hurt by this behavior and apologize on behalf of the staff at Oakland High. This incident is not reflective of the kind of culture we cherish at our school or how we treat one another.”