Warning: This story contains graphic images.
The story of an Arizona student has gone viral after the college sophomore’s mother posted details of an alleged attack on her son by campus police officers on social media.
Facebook user Kai Trigg said that her son, a member of the Central Arizona College track team, apologized when a resident adviser in his dorm discovered him threatening the lives of others by skateboarding in the dormitory hallway. According to Trigg, her son locked up his skateboard in his dorm room and apologized to the R.A. The adviser instructed the student to give up the skateboard, but when Trigg’s son wouldn’t, the R.A. noticed a campus police officer emerging from another room and beckoned the cop over.
Trigg’s post goes on to say that her son showed the officer his hands so that the cop, whom she identified as an Officer G. Terry, wouldn’t get suspicious, and then called his mother on speakerphone because he was afraid. That’s when, Trigg says, Terry grabbed the teen’s hands and, according to Trigg, “twisted it behind his back and then his left and held them with one hand.”
[T]he cop then used his other hand to SMASH my son’s head into the brick wall and down to the floor... My son lost consciousness... he woke up on the floor covered in blood and tried to start video on his phone, there was too much blood to swipe to video and the phone could only snap the photo above ... the one where he is crying. He was screaming to me that his head was split open and saying he didn’t want to get killed, asking the first cop, Officer Terry, to please step back from him. ...
At this point the second cop showed up, he’s black, and called an ambulance... the cop who assaulted him took my son’s phone, I asked what was going on and why this was happening and I said, “Please don’t kill my son” I told them he has anxiety attacks and has pills in his room that will help calm him. The cop hung up or dropped the phone. ... All I could hear was my child screaming for me ... line went dead. I called back 4 times before my son answered, he was with paramedics, she got on the phone and told me to meet her at the hospital.
Trigg reports that her son received eight stitches but was not arrested or charged with a crime. She writes that her son asked her, “Why did he do that to me mom? I cooperated. They said if you just give them your hands and cooperate they won’t hurt you. He hurt me, Mom.”
On Wednesday, Trigg said the campus police told her that they were reviewing the video of the incident, and that the cop’s version of the story was that Trigg’s son “came toward” the cop with his hands out.
She reports that two days after the incident, she has yet to receive a police incident report. Trigg told The Root that the Central Arizona College Police Department has asked her to remove the Facebook post because they are “receiving too many phone calls to be able to work the case.”
The Root also reached out via phone and email to the CAC Police Department but received no response.
There is an important lesson in all of this for anyone who wants to call the police on people of color and for all young men who encounter cops:
Skateboards are really dangerous.