Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Police are being criticized after a mother accused them of using excessive force to restrain her son. David Ramirez, the attorney for the family of Yosio Lopez, claims officers handcuffed, used a taser and bruised the 7-year-old student with special needs after he started banging his head against a wall in class, according to CNN. Normally, Yosio would have a trained school aide nearby to help calm him down. No aide was present last Tuesday when the principal pinned him to a desk with her elbow as he was handcuffed.
“He said, ‘The police laser tagged me at school,’ and he says, ‘My body did this real, real bad,’ and he goes, ‘By the time you knew it I had those handcuffs on my back,'” Lopez’s grandmother, Eva Alejandro, told CBS. “He goes, ‘I couldn’t get out of it, and all I wanted was my mommy.'”
The school district released the following statement regarding the incident:
“The Dallas Independent School District is committed to educating the whole child each day, and in doing so, we believe in providing a productive learning environment that is safe for all staff and students. While there has been media interest into an alleged incident at one of our Dallas ISD campuses, due to federal confidentiality laws protecting the privacy of all students and their families, we are unable to publicly confirm or deny the matter reported.”
Yosio reportedly suffers from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and another undisclosed mood disorder. After the incident in school, he was taken into custody and placed in a mental health institution without his mother’s consent. For the two days he was there, he was heavily sedated and couldn’t see his mother because he was ruled “a danger to himself and those around him.” Fortunately, Yosio was released to his mother on Monday.
If true, this entire incident further proves that law enforcement officers are in need of more thorough training in regards to mental health.