A mother is accusing Burnsville police of excessive force after sharing a video of her 14-year-old son getting tasered in school.
But police say the video only shows the tail-end of a confrontation that lasted several minutes, as school resource officers at Burnsville High School tried to de-escalate the situation.
The video posted by Ive Santiago shows her son go down after being struck with the taser in the chest in a courtyard outside school, she also shared the above picture of him in hospital after the incident.
(Warning – this video contains extreme language).
In her Facebook post, Santiago says her son "was a victim of police brutality," arguing he was "NOT in any way being aggressive to the cop."
But Sgt. Matt Smith of Burnsville police told Bring Me The News that the video shared by the boy's mother caught only the end of a lengthy incident.
He said school resource officers were called to resolve a verbal confrontation between the boy and another student.
"The officer had actually been walking around with this student trying to de-escalate the student for several minutes [prior to the taser being used]," he said.
Another video posted on Facebook shows an earlier stage of the argument, in which the boy squared up to the officer and then pushed him away when the officer tried to touch him.
"The student was verbally and physically threatening," Sgt. Smith added, noting that at one point the officer's body camera was knocked from his body during the physical confrontation.
Sgt. Smith says that while he cannot speak for the officers in question, he says the incident got to a point where they felt the taser needed to be deployed due to the boy's actions.
Police will now check the body camera footage from both officers at the scene to determine whether they took the correct action.
Santiago told the Star Tribune her son has mental and behavioral issues, and that the school has in place an individual education plan (IEP) for her son that she argues was not followed.
She added that her son otherwise does well academically and plays school sports, but says he feels unsafe there.