A video showing school resource officer Bill Kraus aggressively subduing a black teen as he attempted to enter a St. Paul high school has activists calling for the officer’s firing.
In the video Kraus can be seen throwing Darion Bell to the ground, putting a knee in the teens back, and twisting his arm so tightly that the teen screams in pain and calls for help.
“I came to talk to a teacher. I have no drugs on me, no weapon…nothing,” Bell screams.
Nelson Moroukian, an intern with the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance, posted the video on Facebook earlier today saying “Just witnessed the officer at Central high school mace and brutalize this apparently peaceful teenager.”
Later he updated the post after being contacted by school officials.
“My principal has called me and asked me to change the narrative of this post to give a more accurate representation of what occurred. He was trespassing and, according to officials, not cooperating with the officer. I have also been told he was not a Central student,” he added.
Apparently Bell recently transferred to another high school for students pursuing music careers.
Moroukian says “Despite this, people do not deserve to be treated this way. While there I could clearly hear that he was attempting to do what the officer was telling him to, while the officer continued to hold him down with a knee in his back.”
A student named Armand posted on Moroukian’s timeline saying the school’s principal contacted students to say “she was disappointed in [Moroukian] for posting this video, and that he didn’t have the facts straight.”
Activist from Black Lives Matter St. Paul plan to gather at the school tomorrow to protest. Their event notice says “Earlier today, HSRA student Darion Bell was brutalized by Central HS Police Liason Bill Kraus as he stopped by his former school to see a teacher. He was maced, slammed face-first onto the concrete, pinned with a knee to the spine and put in an arm-bar style restraint as he was being arrested for trespassing. Regardless of the context; no child should be subjected to this type of violence, especially at a school…This ruthless, barbaric violence cannot and will not be tolerated anymore. We must protect the children. #SROsMustGo.”
St. Paul Public Schools have seen an uptick in racial tensions between teachers, students, and community members, with teachers’ unions calling for stronger discipline policies and some community members raising concerns of racism in the teaching ranks.
Students of color are 78% of the district’s enrollment, yet, 85% of SPPS teachers are white.
Here is the video: