California School Officer Accused Of Choking Student
A Santa Ana school police officer was caught on video allegedly using excessive force on a student, but the officer claims the student was resisting arrest.
However, bystanders claim the student was pinned to the ground and cooperating with the officer.
Eliva Fernandez jumped out of her car when she saw an altercation between a 14-year-old boy and a Santa Ana School police officer at Adams Park in Santa Ana around 10 a.m.
"He was crying, screaming ... 'Help me! Help me!" Fernandez said. "He was harming the child, obviously, the way he had him on the floor. He choked him and put his head back. The kid was red."
She saw the teen tagging a bench in the park before the officer threw him to the ground, she said.
This is when the video picked up.
Screams could be heard coming from the teen as the officer tells him not to move.
"He's a little kid," Fernandez yelled to the officer.
The officer appeared to respond to Fernandez by shouting,"He's fighting me."
"He's not fighting you. Are you crazy? You're choking him, man," another man yelled.
The boy cried and yelled over to Fernandez that he was getting arrested.
Fernandez tried calming the boy down and told him in Spanish not to move.
Deidra Powell, a spokeswoman with the Santa Ana Unified School District, said officials were investigating the incident.
"Safety is our number one concern," she said in a statement. "We don't want to speculate on the case because it may compromise the integrity of the investigation and we want to be fair to all parties."