The family of a 14-year-old Brusly Middle School student who was seen in surveillance footage being slammed to the ground by a Brusly Police Department officer has filed a lawsuit against the police and school district.
The boy's grandmother, Doris Snearl, claims in the suit that Officer Anthony "Kip" Dupre had no reasonable grounds to physically restrain the boy nor to slam him to the floor in the principal's office during an encounter Oct. 5. She claims the child has special needs and that both police and the school failed their duty of care.
Dupre and another officer, Dan Cipriano, both 46, were indicted by a West Baton Rouge Parish grand jury in December. Dupre was charged with one count of malfeasance in office and Cipriano one count of misdemeanor battery. Both men resigned in November before they were charged.
Video footage of a police officer wrestling with a 14-year-old Brusly Middle School student last month has leaked in the midst of a Louisiana …
The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, names school resource officers Cipriano and Dupre, as well as the town of Brusly and the West Baton Rouge Parish School District as defendants.
The incident caused concern within the Brusly community, as residents marched to the town hall and demanded transparency in the investigation. The boy’s family claims they were misled about what happened in the office building that morning and found the extent of the encounter through leaked video footage shown in the media.
Snearl claims her grandson was “bloodied and bruised” when she arrived at the police station afterward and said he has had nightmares and required counseling in the months that have followed.
West Baton Rouge Parish schools Superintendent Wes Watts said he cannot comment on pending litigation, and Brusly Police Chief Jonathan Lefeaux did not respond to a request for comment.
State Police have completed their probe into the October scuffle involving two Brusly police officers and a middle school student — a confront…
The student was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder during the 2018 school year, the lawsuit says, leading Snearl to seek additional services and a behavioral plan to help him in school. She claims the school district failed in its evaluations of the child and provided only additional time to complete work and testing instead of a full management plan.
The boy was ordered to attend detention the morning of Oct. 5 and was told by the assistant principal that he would need to go straight to detention or risk having the police called, the suit states.
The student refused and went to the office to call his grandmother to pick him up, so the assistant principal asked Dupre to come to the office.
Dupre, standing at 6 feet 300 pounds according to the lawsuit, is accused of physically assaulting the boy, whose grandmother estimates he weighs about 145 pounds.
Dupre claimed the teenager tried to grab his gun during the scuffle on the ground, which is largely out of the leaked surveillance camera’s view, but the lawsuit claims the boy was trying to free his hand because he was in pain. The video footage appears to show Dupre handing his weapon to someone else during the incident.
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Cipriano entered the office during the scuffle, where he is accused in the suit of slamming the boy’s head onto a desk, causing his chin to bleed.
Snearl accuses multiple staff members, who can be seen standing by as the incident occurs, of being complicit. She also claims deficiencies and negligence in the school resource officer policies between Brusly police and the school system and failures in training school resource officers in de-escalation techniques or alternative restraint.
The family's attorney, Kwame Asante, said Wednesday that the Police Department failed in its duty to train officers on interactions with special-needs students. He said the school also failed by turning an issue like discipline, which should be a school administration issue, over to officers.
"The family feels that when you have police officers using pain compliant techniques designed for adults, on children, the school is also responsible," he said.
Snearl is seeking damages on both her and her grandson’s behalf, claiming they both endured pain and suffering, humiliation, inconvenience, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
Both Cipriano and Dupre's criminal cases are ongoing.
A West Baton Rouge grand jury has indicted two Brusly officers accused of using excessive force on a student in October, but the boy's family …