Video shows arrest of Springfield student in school hallway

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Title

Video shows arrest of Springfield student in school hallway

Catalog Entry

In the big city of Springfield, Massachusetts, a major incident occurred between a resource police officer and a fifteen year old boy. The video takes place at Commerce High School in Springfield. The officer grabbed a minor and pushed him to the wall. The officer here is officer Angel Marrero, he is trained to deal with bad people in bad situations also he was trained to de-escalate situations. The situation that we see before the student and officer in this video is neither bad nor dangerous. The fifteen year old is not a dangerous person nor is he a danger to himself. So it is really hard to understand why the officer did what he did. Although we can’t hear what the child is saying, it doesn’t justify the officer's actions. We have to take into consideration how can a police officer that is not only here to “protect and serve” this country do this to a minor. Children are just children they often don’t know right from wrong and sometimes they are influenced by an older person to act or do something that is not right. Springfield is a city where a lot of crime is seen and where the police are really criticized over their actions. If the officers there know this, why do they act like this towards our youth. Instead of trying to de-escalate the situation the officer uses physical force on a minor. The officer knows better and should know that this type of behavior is not accepted.

The behavior that the officer showed us in the video is an example of excessive police force and not only that but the victim is a minor. That is something that is unexplainable and intolerable. We have to bring accountability to this case and make sure that this officer and held to the fullest extent of the law and made an example of. This type of behavior also shows that not only do police think they are untouchable but also a lot of policemen don’t know how to control a situation. Within the case it also speaks about how the officer lied about what happened. He said that the student walked towards him and said some vulgar words towards him. Also the officer claimed that the student allegedly shoved him and that's when the officer applied physical force to try to arrest him. But that was before the video was released. After the video it was clear that the officer was lying and didn’t tell the story how it really happened. Not only was the student charged with resisting arrest but he was also charged with threatening to commit a crime and assault and battery on a police officer. Those charges are clearly not true. The student may have said something vulgar but that doesn’t give the resource officer the right to do what he did. He is there to guide the students not mentally and physically break them. 

Something that is big right now with regards to police is accountability. The officer was put on desk duty while being investigated. That is not being held accountable, that is a slap on the wrist. The officer should not just get a “Don’t do it again” he should be placed on administrative leave, be put in anger management classes and be evaluated afterwards. If the officer doesn’t want to do some sort of re-training then he shouldn’t be a police officer. In an article published by usnews.com it stated, “ A police accountability bill that creates a civilian-led commission with the power to certify officers, investigate claims of misconduct and revoke the certification of officers for certain violations was signed into law” (usnews.com). This bill was implemented in December of 2020. In other words, the bill was made to make police officers more accountable for their actions through a civilian board which will discuss and review police misconduct cases and further action will be taken from there. Something like this is what needs to be seen around the country so officers like Angel Marrero know not to do things like this even though it is clear that something like this is not okay. Police officers are grown men, they don’t need to go through situations to know that certain actions are wrong. 

The main reason as to why this article really stands out to me is because everyone has been 15 years old. Sometimes we say things without even knowing the consequences. Being a 15 year old in a city like Springfield must be really hard to see police officers as good people because of the scandals that have happened in that city before regarding the police. Police officers have to understand that if they really want to make a difference and change their communities for the better they have to understand the struggles that POC have gone through with the police. They have gone through some hard situations with police officers so they have to be compassionate and understanding if people have bad attitudes towards them during certain encounters, especially the youth. On the mass.gov website in the “Role of a School Resource Officer” it stated, “These MOUs must ensure that SROs do not take the place of appointed school disciplinarians, enforcers of school regulations, or school-based mental health providers. The law ensures that SROs do not use police powers to address traditional school discipline issues, including non-violent disruptive behavior, and restricts law enforcement action in response to certain school-based offenses” (mass.gov). The term MOU stands for model memorandum of understanding which are basically a set of rules that the officer has to follow. It is clear that the officer should not use physical force against a student unless there is present danger. In that quote it is clear that the officer is put in their place respectively, they have to go with what the law says. He is not a disciplinarian nor is he a teacher. What the officer in springfield should’ve done was to just listen to the kid, walk away and speak with the principal or vice principal. It wasn’t right to see what happened to that student and hopefully that officer will be held accountable.

Bibliography

Healey, Maura. “The Role of School Resource Officers in Massachusetts.” Mass.gov, www.mass.gov/the-role-of-school-resource-officers-in-mass achusetts.

Lane, Nancy. “Massachusetts Governor Signs Police Accountability Bill.” U.S. News & World  Report, U.S. News & World Report,  www.usnews.com/news/best-states/massachusetts/articles/20 20-12-31/massachusetts-governor-signs-police-accountabilit y-bill. 

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Anthony De Leon, Student, Fitchburg State University

ALFA Mentor

Bill Ayadi

Citation

“Video shows arrest of Springfield student in school hallway,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed August 10, 2022, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/191.

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