A federal lawsuit claims a second-grade boy with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, currently identified by his initials J.D., was attacked by a school resource officer in #Cheyenne, #Wyoming. According to reports, the 8-year-old boy was left bleeding on the face and traumatized while doing nothing to provoke the use of force.
Events regarding the suit against Deputy Benjamin Jacquote and his employer unfolded in early 2022 at Freedom Elementary School at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, where J.D.'s father was serving. Following the incident, Jacquote allegedly removed parts of the assault from his body camera while pulling the boy's private school records. The claim also alleged that Jacquote was never disciplined by his department.
The principal called J.D.'s father Ishmael DeJesus to pick up J.D. after the incident. When his father asked about the incident, according to the filing, Jacquot allegedly responded, "Because, as a law enforcement officer, that's my primary function."
According to the filing, the sheriff's department didn't discipline or retain Jacquot despite his use of force. J.D.'s mother was told by Laramie County that the sheriff's office believed the resource officer's actions were "appropriate and justified."
The complaint says that because of the incident, "J.D. has developed a fear and mistrust of law enforcement as a result of the assault; and J.D. psychological injuries from the assault, at this time, appears be permanent".
It is deeply distressing to witness such egregious abuse of power, especially against a vulnerable child who posed no threat. This incident underscores the systemic issues of over-policing and the excessive use of force within our schools, which disproportionately impact marginalized communities.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.