Raleigh, N.C. — The mother of an Enloe High School student has filed a complaint with the Raleigh Police Department after an officer threw her son to the ground Thursday as police responded to a water balloon battle at the school.
Seven students and a parent were arrested.
Sophomore Jahbriel Morris wasn't among those charged, but he had to be treated at WakeMed for a cut above his eyebrow, a bruised shoulder, a scraped knee and a sore neck and back.
Morris, 15, said he was injured when a police officer grabbed him outside the school, knocked him down and drove his head into the ground at least twice.
"How he was taken down was the most disturbing because they took him down by his neck and slammed him," Kevin Hines, a parent who witnessed the incident as he was picking up his children after school, said Friday.
Morris said he was trying to avoid being hit by a water balloon when the officer grabbed him.
"I told him get off me, and I yelled," he said. "We got into a little bit of an argument."
He said he was scared, and he believes the officer's actions were inappropriate.
"I'm a kid, and you're a grown man," he said. "What did I do to get that much force put on me?"
Jim Sughrue, a spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department, said the officers who responded to Enloe High haven't yet completed their reports on the incident. He said he couldn't comment on any complaints because they are considered a personnel matter.
Lena Morris accused the officer in her complaint of using excessive force on her son.
"Why did this happen?" she asked.
Hines said he went to the school office to speak with Principal Scott Lyons.
"I felt it was my duty to report it from the standpoint of a parent," he said.
Instead of seeing Lyons, he was charged with second-degree trespassing.
"The actual officer came out. The actual officer I saw in the – I don't want to say altercation. To me, it was more like an assault," he said.
Hines said he plans to file a complaint with the police department as well.
"We all felt so bad when we found out he got arrested, you know, for trying to aid my son," Lena Morris said. "I just give him a tremendous amount of thanks."