HOUSTON – A Houston Independent School District police officer pepper sprayed a student Thursday during a confrontation on the Madison High School campus.
The student was in the midst of a three-day suspension when he walked back on campus shortly before 3 p.m. and ended up in a scuffle with the officer, school officials said.
“They were just like—they were trying to take him down. He wouldn’t let them though, so he started shoving back, started fighting back and he got pepper sprayed too,” said Edwin Henriquez, a witness. “And he’s like, ‘Ahh,’ screaming and stuff. And I’m like, Ooh.”
One student who witnessed what happened said it appeared the student who police arrested was attempting to give himself up.
“They just put him in a choke hold for no reason,” said Brandy Richardson. “They could have just had a regular conversation with him.”
Another student said he saw police use their pepper spray.
“He was just saying, ‘My eye,’” said Keelon Medford. “And they were just saying, ‘It’s not my problem.’”
The parents of the student arrested identified their son as Abdul Rakman Ali; a 16-year-old who they said had been suspended for bringing a skateboard to school.
But they said the suspension had ended a day earlier, which is the only reason they allowed him to return to campus.
“This was nothing but police brutality,” said Akilah Ali. “My son is a good boy.”
School officials were exploring potential charges against their son.
Mr. and Mrs. Ali said they were contemplating filing a lawsuit.