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Police in Texas release video of officer body slamming, handcuffing boy with autism

Posted at 7:33 PM, Aug 13, 2018

A dispute is brewing between city officials in Denton, Texas and the parents of a 10-year-old boy with autism after body cam footage was released last week from an incident in April showing a school resource officer body slamming the boy, WFAA-TV reported.

According to an account of events given to WFAA, the boy, Thomas Brown, poked other students and was ignoring his teachers when a school resource officer was called to the special needs classroom. The boy then backed into a cubby as school staff and the officer closed in. 

Video of the incident shows the officer picking up the boy as the boy began kicking and screaming. Moments later, the boy was brought to the ground, and placed in handcuffs. Thomas' parents said the use of force was "excessive."

"I see a little boy hiding," mother Emily Brown told WFAA. "Not doing anything that's an imminent serious harm to someone else."

Brown said she realized just how serious the incident was after she got home and noticed bruises on her son's body. 

Both the Denton school district and city of Denton both disagreed with Thomas' parents.

"The safety of all of our students is a top priority and we have protocols in place to ensure this," the Denton Independent School District said in a statement. "In this instance, protocol was followed, with the school resource officer making the determination, after all other efforts to deescalate the situation proved ineffective, that the student was a detriment to his own safety and that of the other students and staff."

In the city's statement to WFAA, it claimed that Thomas "was posing a serious threat of injury to himself or others."

According to ABC News, the Browns plan on suing the school district and city over the incident.