By Wes Muller and Kiran Chawla
BRUSLY, LA (WAFB) - Newly leaked video footage of an incident in October at Brusly Middle School shows a police officer wrestling with a student and slamming him to the ground twice as school staff members nervously look on.
During the altercation, the officer says the student tried to grab the officer’s gun, two sources say.
The incident occurred the morning of Oct. 5 in the main office at Brusly Middle School. The footage was sent to WAFB from an anonymous source.
The footage shows a young male student, believed to be 14-years-old, walk into the office and approach the desk where staff members appear to help him make a phone call. Sources familiar with the case say the student had just gotten into a verbal argument with the school’s vice principal and was in the office to call his grandmother to come pick him up.
About 15 seconds later, Brusly Police Officer Anthony “Kip” Dupre enters and begins saying something to the teen and pointing at him. No audio was recorded, so it’s unclear what was said.
The boy remains standing in the same spot until it appears he no longer wants to make the phone call. He steps away from the desk and walks toward the exit. The officer, who towers over the teen at about twice his size, steps toward the kid, puts him in a rear choke hold, and slams him to the ground.
Once on the ground, the scuffle is mostly obscured from the camera, but the officer can be seen placing his eyeglasses on top the desk as he wrestles the student for nearly a minute. At one point, the officer’s right arm and shoulder are seen making forcible, jab-like movements in quick succession, as if he were throwing punches.
Sources say the teen admitted to reaching for the officer’s gun during the struggle and had fought with other officers on at least two prior occasions. The video shows the officer’s gun come loose and a staff member picks it up and places it on the desk. She relocates the gun a second time as the scuffle moves closer toward it.
At about the 1:45 mark in the video, the officer rises to his feet while holding the teen in a headlock, then lifts him into the air upside down, and body slams him to the ground again.
Staff members behind the desk appear to be shocked by the events and one woman covers her face while nervously pacing back and forth.
With the boy is pinned to the ground, the officer appears to lie on top of him for about 80 seconds until a second policeman, Officer Dan Cipriano, arrives and takes over. After the student is placed in handcuffs, Cipriano stands the boy up, then slams him down face first onto the admin desk before pulling the boy back up and escorting him out the door.
After the two officers leave with the student, the staff members appear to put on latex gloves and wipe up the floor and the area of the desk where the teen was slammed.
Brusly Police Chief Jonathan Lafeaux says both officers had been with the department about three years before resigning in the wake of the incident.
Louisiana State Police is investigating the case for allegations of excessive force. While charges against the officer are possible, none have been filed thus far. An LSP spokesman said Wednesday they’re in the “final stages” of writing their report and will submit their findings to the district attorney. The district attorney’s office says it plans to present the case to a grand jury, regardless of LSP’s findings.
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