Keene, NH — Since General John Stark coined the phrase in 1809, the state motto of New Hampshire has been “Live Free or Die.” As the police state continues to encroach on our freedoms and oppress individuals, this motto has become laughable as prisons are filled with non-violent drug offenders and victimless “criminals.” The state should definitely rethink this motto, especially considering the following case of a child tackled by a cop for walking away from him. Perhaps the new motto should read, “Live as free as we arbitrarily say you can and if you get too free, we will tackle you from behind and beat your ass.” Yeah, that sounds much more accurate.
A disturbing video has gone viral this week because it shows a school resource officer at Keene High School tackling a non-violent teen from behind and slamming him to the ground — for allegedly vaping in a bathroom and then walking away.
As the video shows, the teen is merely walking out of the bathroom when the officer follows him out, jumps on his back with his arms wrapped around, and slams him into the wall before smashing him into the ground. The entire situation appeared to be an completely unnecessary escalation of violence by the officer. However, the police department sees it quite differently.
Just days after the video went viral, police had already concluded that Officer Joshua English acted appropriately when he jumped on top of the non-violent teen and tackled him to the ground for allegedly vaping and walking away.
“Officer (Joshua) English’s response to this resistance was reviewed, including the review of KHS surveillance camera footage of the incident,” Police Chief Steven Russo said in a statement on Monday. “Officer English’s response was determined to be within KPD policy and procedure, and in compliance with the New Hampshire Use of Force Statute.”
Apparently, it is okay for police officers to initiate violence against children who walk away from them. The boy’s father, who says his son was battered and bruised from the incident, disagrees.
According to the boy’s father, who asked not to be named, his son has been caught vaping before and was merely given a ticket as it is against school policy to vape on campus. However, he says this recent reaction from the school cop is over the top.
“If he was vaping in there, he should be punished, but punishment isn’t slamming him into the wall and onto the ground,” said the father, who asked not to be named. “He was walking out of the bathroom.”
As the Union Leader reports:
The father provided the Union Leader with copies of the two summonses issued to the boy, one on Oct. 7, and the other on Oct. 31, both for the prohibited use of a tobacco product. The violation is not criminal; the maximum penalty for each offense is a $100 fine and 20 hours of community service.
The teen is seen in the video posted to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat walking out of the bathroom before English tackled him from behind. The boy’s father said his son was in the bathroom with four of five other students and some of them were vaping. His son was the only one accosted by English, the father said.
Naturally, the officer who beat up a teenager for vaping claimed that he was fearful of him and was “protecting” other students by doing so.
According to the paper, Russo said last week that English did not know in the moment that the boy was a student at the high school, and acted to protect the school community. Russo reiterated that point in his Monday statement.
“The underlying offense is not as important as the fact that the individual’s actions were out of the ordinary under such circumstance: he refused to identify himself to Officer English, and he made several attempts to escape detention through physical resistance as he continued to move through the school,” Russo said.
But the father, who admitted his son has been in trouble for vaping with the same officer — just 3 weeks before this incident — says that is not true.
“He knows that’s a student,” the father said. “I talked to him less than a month ago about my son.”
Adding to the unscrupulous nature of the violence against the 15-year-old is the father claims that the officer never provided any proof whatsoever that his son was vaping. The father pointed out the fact that no vaping device was even recovered. He said the officer claimed his son flushed the vape pen down a urinal. Seriously.
“(English) said it may have been flushed down the urinal,” the father said. “How can you flush a vape pen down a urinal?”
Naturally, the police department disagrees, pointing out that officer English — who tackled a child on video who may or may not have been vaping — is a hero.
“The Keene Police Department, and the Keene School District, are committed to maintaining the safety and the security of the students, faculty, administrators and staff of the city’s schools, which may regrettably include when necessary, the use of force to secure that safety,” Russo said in Monday’s statement.
Watch the video for yourself below. Do you think that a 15-year-old boy walking away from a school police officer deserves to be treated like this?