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Watch the video, courtesy of Shaun King, that has started the Tolman High School student protests. The video shows a police officer slaming Tyler Deburgo, 15, after his friend was arrested Wednesday.
The Pawtucket Police Department has released the following statement on the incident:
PAWTUCKET POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESS RELEASE
On 10/14/15 at Tolman High School dismissal approximately 2:30pm, the Pawtucket Police School Resource Officer, (SRO), assigned to Tolman High School observed a 14 year old juvenile suspect walking down the hallway screaming obscenities about what he was going to do to another student. A school department employee then told the SRO that the juvenile was trying to fight another student.
The SRO escorted the disorderly juvenile into the office to investigate the incident. The juvenile continued to yell obscenities while the officer tried to speak to him. The juvenile’s behavior escalated to the point where he started punching a bench the juvenile ignored the officer’s commands to stop, and then started punching the office wall. The SRO then advised the juvenile he was under arrest for disorderly conduct.
While the officer was attempting to take the 14 year old juvenile into custody, that juvenile’s 17 year old brother entered the office and began to interfere with the officer, and then started to push the officer. A very large group of students had formed outside the office and were trying to gain entry into the office. Teachers and custodians were trying to move students back from the door and at one point during the incident held the door closed to prevent students from rushing into the office. Another school department employee in the office, who witnessed the events unfolding, put out a call for more personnel to respond to the office.
The two juveniles then started attacking the SRO. The 17 year old struck the officer in the face. The officer was then engaged with 2 combative individuals. The officer managed to get the 17 year old subject on the ground and was attempting to handcuff him, when the second juvenile started to approach the officer from behind. The officer saw the individual approaching him, grabbed the juvenile and used a takedown on the juvenile.
A video clip showing a portion of this incident was placed on social media last evening. Pawtucket Police obtained a copy of that video this morning.
On 10/15/15 a large group of students assembled outside of Tolman High School to protest the arrests from the previous day. Police responded to the area to maintain order. During this time frame a juvenile pulled a fire alarm inside the school. This juvenile was arrested.
A small delegation of students was invited into City Hall to discuss yesterday’s events, while a couple hundred students congregated outside City Hall. A group of these students started to become disorderly and smashed the window of a vehicle parked on the street. This juvenile was apprehended. A large portion of the group then migrated from City Hall into the parking lot of a private business, Granite City. Some members of the group were spitting at and threatening police officers, and interfering with the arrests of other juveniles. At one point an officer discharged pepper spray at several individuals. This incident resulted in the arrest of 8 juveniles and 2 adults.