Texas AG weighs in on local body cam dispute

Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 19:51:37-04

A recent ruling from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, has ended an ongoing dispute between Belton ISD and the City of Temple.   

This comes after a second grade student at Pirtle Elementary School, was placed in handcuffs by a Temple police officer, following an emotional outburst in February.

The Attorney General’s Office has agreed to release the original body cam footage and the official incident report from the case, which the district says is pertinent to its internal investigation.

The nine page document shows that the entire incident lasted about an hour.

However, the responding officer, who was working as a resource officer at Lake Belton Middle school at the time, wasn't called until about halfway through.

According to the report, that officer arrived at the school at 11:54 a.m. and claims the second grade student's behavior was "not deterred by his presence."

He goes on to say that after trying to calm the child down with verbal and other physical restraints, he felt handcuffs were the best option to keep the child from hurting himself and others.

It's a decision that prompted officials with Belton ISD to also request the officer's training record, to see if he had received any "school based training."

Though the request was denied by the Attorney General’s office, who cited a "violation of the officer’s privacy as the reason," Belton ISD Spokesman, Kyle DeBeer, said they won't appeal that decision.

"We don't see a need to pursue that any further, because a local media outlet received a copy of the officer's training records from the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement and shared those with us," DeBeer said, "The records really confirmed what they city of Temple told us, mainly that the officer did not have school based law enforcement training."

It's information that also has the parents of that child concerned. They feel that all personnel who deal with special education students should be properly trained. They're currently in the process of appealing to the Texas Education Commissioner to have those issues addressed.

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