Seventh-grader Kevens Jeanbaptist wants a Boynton Beach, Florida, police officer fired after the officer handcuffed him, put him in a choke hold, then kicked his feet out from under him, dropping him sharply to the ground — all because the 13-year-old partially rolled down the window on his school bus.
A classmate caught the whole incident on a cell phone video
Kevens knows that rolling down the window on the bus is against the rules. But he suffers from asthma, and when one of his schoolmates on the bus sprayed perfume all over the place, his condition acted up. So even though the driver told him not to, he opened the school bus window a crack so he could get some fresh air, which would help him breathe.
The bus driver immediately pulled the bus over and called the cops.
When the police officers showed up, they took Kevens Jeanbaptist, along with another sixth grader from Congress Middle School, off the bus and handcuffed them. But that wasn’t enough.
“They said don’t speak when I was spoken to and the man spoke to me and said ‘be quiet I was talking’ and he slammed me, as simple as that,” said Kevens.
After the officer kicked the boy’s legs out from under him, seemingly for no reason whatsoever, he placed Kevens in the back of police car.
“He just took me to school, got my information and left,” said Kevens, in an interview with a local TV station.
But until the video surfaced on the internet, Kevens’ parents said they didn’t realize their son has actually been attacked by the police officer.
“You can’t treat the kid like that. He needs to be fired. Police have to serve and protect,” Kevens’ stepfather, Rene Laguerre, said.
Boynton Beach Police said that the officer seen kicking Kevens in the video has been placed on administrative leave while the department investigates, even though no one has filed a formal complaint.
“We are concerned as to the initial appearance of the video, and despite the fact that we have received no formal complaints at this time, we are committed to reviewing the situation in its entirety and taking whatever action is deemed most appropriate at the conclusion of our investigation,” the department said in a statement.
The family of Kevens Jeanbaptist said they planned to file that complaint on Wednesday.