Student reaches settlement after getting body slammed by police

Posted at 10:55 AM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2018-03-12 19:31:39-04

School bus surveillance video has been released showing a 15-year-old student being body slammed by officers.

Austin-based civil rights lawyer Robert Ranco said the student pursued a lawsuit against the two Killeen officers involved and the city of Killeen. Ranco posted the video to YouTube on Tuesday. The lawsuit was filed Nov. 21. 

A settlement was reached in the lawsuit in March 2018. The amount of the settlement was not revealed, but the attorney did say it covered fees and then some. The attorney also added that the police department did not apologize.

The incident took place in April 2016. The lawsuit said the student is gay, and he was being harassed and called homophobic slurs by another student on a Killeen ISD school bus at the time of the incident.

The bus pulled over, and at least four Killeen police officer arrived on the scene after the bus driver called them, according to the lawsuit.

When the officers entered the bus, the bus driver told officers that the student using homophobic slurs needed to be removed from the bus. The students began yelling at each other, and the lawsuit states that the officers forcibly removed the student who was being harassed and then body slammed him.

The lawsuit said that the student did not resist the officers.

"The general policing tenant and training is to use the least amount of force necessary to resolve a situation," Ranco says in the lawsuit. "Here, the officers did not use the lowest level of force necessary to get the situation under control."

Officer Travis Lundy and Officer Stephen Frucella are named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit added that the officers violated the student's fourth and fourteenth amendment rights and that the municipal body had inadequate policies regarding hiring and training related to use of force.

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