Overkill in Albuquerque Public School
ALBUQUERQUE (CN) - A 12-year-old boy was handcuffed and arrested after he found a blade from a pencil sharpener at school, the former student claims in court.
Quentin Scott sued Albuquerque Public Schools; Brad Winters, APS chief of operations; Steve Tellez, APS chief of police; and C. Sigler, APS school resource officer, in Bernalillo County Court on June 12.
Scott claims he found the blade at school in 2007. He says he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at the time and tried to sell the pencil sharpener blade to another student for a dollar.
"The razor from a pencil sharpener is not a deadly weapon," the 11-page complaint states. "Defendant Sigler arrested plaintiff for unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school grounds. Defendant Sigler handcuffed plaintiff and transported him to the juvenile detention center."
Scott says he was charged, but the criminal prosecution ended in his favor. He claims Sigler lacked probable cause to arrest and charge him.
"Defendant Sigler's use of force under the circumstances was objectively unreasonable as no force was necessary," the complaint states. "Plaintiff was not disruptive or dangerous, neither the school administrators nor the resources officer had to make a split second decision, and plaintiff did not resist or attempt to evade defendant Sigler."
Scott claims APS officials are aware of "wrongful acts" committed by its school resource officers.
"Defendant APS maintained a de-facto policy and practice of allowing school resource officers to violate school children's rights by failing to train and supervise school resource officers," the complaint states. "School resource officers repeatedly use excessive force against students and arrested and charged children with conduct that no reasonable officer would conclude was a crime."
Scott claims he was injured and required medical expenses and psychological care and counseling
APS representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.
Scott seeks actual and punitive damages for violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, battery, false imprisonment, the New Mexico Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
He is represented by Joseph Kennedy in Albuquerque.