Fourteen-year-old Gyasi Hughes got in an argument with another student at his Round Rock, Texas, high school over a pair of sports goggles. Hughes says that after he was pushed, he pushed back, knocking the other student to the ground. This is when two officers assigned to the school showed up, cornering Hughes and talking to him.
According to Hughes, the officers told him to “walk away,” which he attempted to do, only to be violently grabbed by the throat and thrown on the ground when he tried. Cellphone footage of the altercation seems to support his statement, although the conversation can’t be made out. The officers do, however, appear to escalate the situation intensely, and without provocation.
The city of Round Rock released the following official statement about the incident, which seems to tell a much different story than Hughes, or the eyewitness video.
“[School Resource Officers] began speaking with the student to calm him down and to de-escalate the situation by walking him into another area of the building. The student refused to calm down and was attempting to get past the SROs to the location of the other student to continue with the altercation. 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.”
This isn’t the first time—this year—that footage of Round Rock police using extreme force has made the Internet rounds. Last May, an officer was filmed throwing a woman to the ground and knocking her unconscious in front of her 6-year-old child (see below).