Local News

Durham police accused of beating up student

Posted January 20, 2010 5:08 p.m. EST
Updated January 20, 2010 6:51 p.m. EST

— The executive director of a training program for at-risk youth said Durham police officers assaulted one of her students Tuesday afternoon.

Fran Alexander said she was standing in the lobby of EDGE Training and Placement Tuesday afternoon when she saw two police officers confront 17-year-old Andre Bond. The EDGE program targets students who have been in trouble and tries to give them an education.

Alexander said officers threw Bond against her SUV so hard that it left a dent and then threw him to the ground in front of the school.

"I was afraid they were going to kill him," she said. "One police officer was holding him, and the other one was ... just socking him in the face and in the ribs."

Bond appeared in court Wednesday on charges of assaulting a government official and resisting a public officer. He had no visible injuries, aside from a mark above his right eye.

"He looks OK right about now, but if you would have seen him (Tuesday), his face was bigger than mine," said his mother, Teresa Bond.

Police Chief Jose Lopez said the officers went to the school to arrest Bond for missing a court appearance in a case from August that also involved resisting arrest.

"A lot of the individuals who see the police action may not have seen it from the beginning (and) may not know what the background of the police action is," Lopez said.

The Durham Police Department is investigating the incident, which is standard procedure for any instance in which an officer uses force. Both officers, whose names haven't been released, remain on duty.

Lopez said it was too early to comment on whether the officers did anything wrong. The internal investigation could take several weeks to complete.

"I'm going to wait until the investigation has concluded and going to make a proper determination," he said.

Teresa Bond said she wants the two officers fired. Alexander said the incident only reinforces an image among teens that police cannot be trusted.

"How can I tell these kids that the police are our friends when they come on school grounds and do something like that?" she said.