Students of St.Paul’s Central High Protest ‘Resource Officer’ and Police Brutality
A group of around 125 students and activists staged a walk-out of Central High School in St. Paul just before 1:30pm. The protest was organized by the Pan-African Student Union of Central High in response to the recent arrest of a young man by a ‘School Resource Officer’ (SRO).
SROs are police officers working inside schools. The presence of armed police inside schools has come under serious scrutiny in the last few years.
The student was previously trespassed by school officials and can be heard in the video explaining that he simply came back to speak with a teacher. It is unclear at this time if the former student was legally trespassed or if the school officials simply wished for him to not be on school property – an important distinction.
Officer Kraus, the SRO in question, used pain compliance and pepper-spray (twice) to arrest the 18-year-old former Central High School student.
In this instance, “Officer Kraus took his cellphone and began to walk in the direction he wanted the suspect to go” according to an official statement by the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD).
After taking the young man’s phone and moving towards the door, Kraus can be seen pressing him against the wall, gaining control over his arms and then throwing him against a concrete staircase. After this, “two knee strikes were delivered by Officer Kraus” and his weight was levied against the 18-year-old.
— North Star Post (@NStarPost) May 31, 2016
At the thirty-second mark of the video, shoulder and arm compliance result in him being unable to speak. Immediately following that, you can hear him continue to explain that he was visiting the school to meet with a teacher.
The incident ends with the 18-year-old being forcibly moved to an SPPD squad car. It’s obvious towards the end of the video that the pepper-spray was applied at very close range and was used quite liberally.
Protesters from the walk-out marched from Central High School to the St. Paul City Hall. Initially, only a handful of students were allowed into City Hall to meet with Mayor Coleman. That changed when after sometime at the door, all that wished to attend an impromptu meeting were allowed in. Stay tuned for updates and follow #SpeakUpCentral for more information.
Our twitter feed has many more videos and pictures from the protest.