BULLOCK COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – A Union Springs school resource officer who was videoed tasing a Bullock County High school student has been reassigned to other duties with the police department, away from the school, pending an outside agency’s investigation.
Captain Sharon Dean with Union Springs Police Department confirmed the information with News 3 on Thursday, May 16. Dean says the reassignment is temporarily pending the outcome of the investigation.
News 3 is still trying to confirm which agency is conducting the investigation and how long it will take.
News 3 shared a video of the incident that went viral in social media and also spoke with the tased student,18-year-old Jahmar McKinnes, who remembers feeling scared and then a sharp pain. On a scale of one to ten, he described the pain as a ten.
“It felt like a needle,” said McKinnes
McKinnes says he was waiting on the bus to take him to Vocational School when the officer told him to get to class. McKinnes says he was walking towards the bus stop when the officer then told him to go to the office and started following him. McKinnes said when he asked the officer, “Why the hell are you following me,” the officer got aggressive with him.” She grabbed me here, and I moved back from her, and she grabbed me again I grabbed away from her, and she pulled the taser and pointed it at my head then she backed up, and she shot me in the leg with it,” described McKinnes.
McKinnes’ parents tell News 3 their son is a good student and a good kid who has never been in trouble.
“He’s a good kid, stays to himself. Never bothers anybody, nothing like that,” said his father, Robert McKinnes.
The parents say their son has been raised to respect his elders and law enforcement, saying the video shows their son staying calm and trying to walk away.
“I don’t tolerate no disrespect or that kind of stuff, all my kids went to school over there, they don’t disrespect anyone. I raised them like my mom raised me,” said McKinnes’ mom, Bernice Sellers.
Both parents are glad the video was shared on social media.
“It tells me the officer attacked him. I don’t see where he did anything wrong, he just walked pulling away from her, and she started going behind him pulling on him I don’t see what he did wrong,” said his McKinnes’ father.
Union Springs Police Chief Danny Jackson disagreed with the parents take on the incident, defending the officer’s actions soon after the event.
“We have school resource officers for a reason to keep order in the school. After reviewing the video and reading the officer’s statement, I feel like what she did was justified,” said Chief Jackson.
Chief Jackson sent a follow-up statement to News 3, the day our original story aired.
“On Monday, April 22, 2019, the resource officer at the Bullock County High School deployed her taser on a student who had become disorderly. The student began to use profanity towards the officer and aggressively pushed the officer. Unfortunately, whoever filmed the incident missed the initial contact between the officer and the student. Based on the information gathered, the officer was justified in her actions. However, further investigation is being conducted.”
McKinnes tells News 3 he never attempted or tried to hit the school resource officer. His parents are upset the Chief is defending the officer’s actions despite the video.
“The Chief said he should have been tased. He say that coming from a chief. That don’t sit well with me,” said Robert McKinnes.
“This ain’t the first time she did this to a child. He covers the stuff up for her that is why he is so mad it went viral on Facebook,” said Sellers.
News 3 called the principal at Bullock High who referred all of our questions Superintendent. News 3 has left messages.
“I feel like she was wrong,” said Jahmar McKinnes.
The family had asked for an independent state agency to review the officer’s actions. News 3 will keep you updated on this developing story.