HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Henrico family says they are outraged after their son was allegedly detained at Highland Springs High School for selling candy.
Video obtained by 8News shows the moment a student resource officer (SRO) with the Henrico County Police Division detained sophomore Ezekiel Richards in the hallway on Monday, Aug. 28.
In the video, Richards can be heard saying ‘Get off me. This man has his arm on me. Can you get off me?’”
Moments later, the video shows the SRO putting his arm around the student’s neck and tackling him to the ground. A separate video obtained by 8News shows the SRO and other administrators surrounding the student as he yells for help.
The student’s father, Chris Richards, told 8News he received a call from the school saying his son was being non-compliant and was in handcuffs. Richards said he asked for the handcuffs to be removed and raced to the school after hearing his son in the background.
“In the background, I hear my son screaming, ‘Dad, Dad, they hurting me,” Richards said.
On Tuesday, Henrico police released a statement responding to the situation, saying there was “misinformation on social media alleging an arrest, dispatched police response, and excessive force.”
According to a spokesperson, the SRO observed a disturbance involving a student who was being confrontational with an administrator. The statement continues, “The SRO monitored the ongoing situation until the student became confrontational again and uncooperative with school staff. He was detained for investigatory purposes.”
Richards said the force was excessive and questioned if it was necessary. He says the officer responded, “Yes.”
The Henrico County Police Division said an internal investigation is now underway. However, no further details were released due to a student code.
This family says they want justice.
“I want the officer to have an understanding you can’t do that to kids. And to the officer who said he liked to do that to kids, I just want him to have an understanding that is not the proper thing to do,” Richards said.