Attorney releases video, claims black students abused at school

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A school resource officer is shown placing a student in a headlock in Pittsburgh

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The lawyer representing two students who were allegedly threatened and attacked in school released new video Tuesday of a third alleged incident.

Civil rights attorney Todd Hollis claims the videos provide more evidence of a clear pattern of abuse targeting black students in Woodland Hills School District, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

“If a picture speaks a thousand words… a video has to speak a million,” Hollis said at a press conference Tuesday.

With alleged victims and their families present, Hollis showed the videos depicting the incidents, captured by surveillance cameras in the school.

In a video dated March 3, 2015, a 15-year-old student who was asked to leave class and report to the office is placed in a headlock by school resource officer Steve Shaulis.

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A school resource officer is shown placing a student in a headlock in Pittsburgh

CBS Pittsburgh

“Body slams him to the ground. Here comes Principal [Kevin] Murray. He holds the kid’s head down into the carpet. Shaulis is deploying his taser,” Hollis said, describing the video.

Flashes seen on the video show the taser allegedly being used three times, Hollis said. 

Murray was placed on administrative leave in November 2016 after a student recorded him making berating comments, allegedly telling the student “I’ll punch you right in your face, dude.” 

Hollis says a 14-year-old student with special needs also recorded Murray allegedly threatening him. The attorney says another 14-year-old had his teeth knocked out by Shaulis, and Murray was again present. 

“You’ll see Principal Kevin Murray come in and out of the scene. You see the young man has not come out of the room that he was just recently walked into,” Hollis said, playing another video. 

When the incident happened, attorney Phil DiLucente, who represents both Murray and Shaulis, claimed the principal was not aware of what happened until it had already transpired. However, the video shown Tuesday clearly shows him there.

“Mr. Murray was in the vicinity, but Mr. Murray did not participate whatsoever,” DiLucente told CBS Pittsburgh. “He was aware of it as anyone else was following the incident.”

Hollis says he plans to file suit and wants the superintendent, the principal, the school board, the school resource officer and any administrator who was aware of the alleged incidents fired.

Woodland Hills Superintendent Alan Johnson dismissed the incidents as isolated events.

“What Mr. Hollis has done here is take two or three isolated incidents over the course of several years in a building of 1,700 students and has managed to weave that into a conspiracy,” Johnson said.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office says it is aware of the videos that were shown today and is working with both state and federal agencies to determine what, if any, crimes have been committed.

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Source: CBS News – United States

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