A 16-year-old Marshall High School student is speaking out after she was been charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery to a peace officer after getting into a scuffle with those officers at her school Tuesday.
Dnigma Howard was tased as the officers tried to escort her out of the building and her father, Laurentio Howard, saw the whole thing.
He had been called to pick up his daughter after an incident involving her and Marshall High School’s assistant principal. Dnigma Howard says she had pulled out her cell phone in class and was being taken to the in-school suspension room, even though students were in the middle of their final exams. That’s when she admits she was angry, and then, her father was called to pick her up.
Laurentio Howard was on the ground level looking up as his daughter was being escorted out by two Chicago police officers and it became violent.
“And they walk up the stairs and the next thing you know, I see my daughter on her back coming down the first flight of stairs with the Chicago police officer on top of her. When they had my daughter on the ground like that and throwing her around and the officer had his foot in my daughter's stomach, on her leg, she's screaming I can't breathe, I can't breathe,” said Laurentio Howard.
Chicago police say the teen became aggressive, biting an officer and refusing to release her grip until they both fell down the stairs. The officers then deployed a taser, but the teen says she felt the officer was trying to push her down the stairs and used her teeth to defend herself.
"I tried to walk the other way. He put his hand out in front of me and like pushed me toward the stairway which I reacted to grab his vest,” said Dnigma Howard.
CPS removed the officers from Marshall H.S. duties and released this statement: “CPS strives to create safe and supportive learning environments for all students, and this disturbing incident has absolutely no place in our schools. To ensure a thorough review of this situation is conducted, we are asking the district's Office of the Inspector General to review the matter and we will fully support the ongoing investigation by the City's Civilian Office of Police Accountability."
Laurentio Howard says although he’s pleased that CPS removed the officers from Marshall, he’s not satisfied that his daughter’s IEP and BIP were ignored.
Dnigma Howard has a documented Behavior Intervention Plan and Individualized Education Program on file with Chicago Public Schools. Laurentio Howard says instead of removing her from the building on Tuesday, the school should have allowed her to talk to her counselor. Now the teen’s facing felony charges for injuries to the officers.
Police say both officers were taken to the University of Illinois Hospital. One was treated for injuries to the face, leg, back and shoulder. The other was treated for injuries to the back, hand, knee and groin area. Dnigma Howard was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and released in good condition.