Students at a Texas high school went on strike last week after one of their classmates was put into a coma by a Taser-wielding sheriff’s deputy on campus.
According to reports, 17-year-old Noe de Rivera fell and hit his head on concrete after a deputy used a Taser on him as he tried to break up a fight between two of his female classmates.
“There were two young ladies fighting and he stepped in to break up the fight,” Adam Loewy, a lawyer representing Rivera’s family, explained. “What the evidence shows, he was sort of backing up from the fight, the fight was over, and this officer literally walked up on him and tased him.”
“There was a crowd watching and the kid was just trying to get the officers to listen to him,” said one student. “When he shot the Taser, there was a crowd, and others could have been hit.”
For Rivera, attempting to stop the altercation had life-threatening consequences due to the officer’s intervention.
“This is one of the worst traumatic brain injuries we have seen, and we will be pursuing all legal remedies at the proper time,” Loewy said. “In the interim, we ask for prayers for this young man and his family.”
During Friday’s student walkout at Cedar Creek High School, Rivera’s classmates, dressed in white, chanted: “Justice for Noe.” They were joined by several concerned parents.
As for the use of Tasers in schools in the area, local news outlet KXAN reports: “School resource officers in Pflugerville, Round Rock, and Del Valle all have Tasers, but have never had to use them on a student either. Some officers have resorted to using less painful methods like pepper spray. Commander Jim Stewart with the Round Rock Police Department said each situation is different, and the factors they take into consideration include the size of the student and whether or not they are armed.”