Lawsuit: School officer's body slam of Rockford student caused brain injury, PTSD
ROCKFORD, Ill. - Attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of a Rockford family that says their loved one was body slammed at his high school by a police officer. They say a crime was committed as well as an attempted cover-up.
School security video shows a student in the hall of Auburn High School in Rockford last fall and an adult trying to stop him. An attorney for Parris Moore's family says the 14-year-old had walked out of class, upset but not violent, on that day in September 2021.
"Parris was not fighting, threatening, insulting anyone," said Attorney Al Hofeld, Jr.
Next, the video shows a school liaison officer arriving to the incident. Hofeld says Parris, a not yet 5-foot-tall freshman, wasn't resisting or fighting. A different camera then shows the police officer slam the student to the floor. Hofeld says the impact knocked Parris out cold and fractured his skull.
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Parris' mother wants the officer fired and criminally charged.
"If he can do that to a child in a school where there’s cameras, what can he do to a child out on the street?" said Stephene Moore at a news conference Wednesday morning in Chicago.
The teen's family announced they filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officer, the city of Rockford, the school district and more. They say the body slam left Parris with a traumatic brain injury, permanent cognitive deficits, PTSD, and depression.
"He's not the same child that he was, not at all, not at all," said his grandmother, Diane Morgan.
Adding to their frustration, his grandmother says the day this happened, the school told her Parris slipped and fell during a scuffle.
"I was so angry. I just want something done with this officer that did this because he could have killed my grandson. And I don't – it's not even a matter of just him. Any other child. He has no basis to be in the schools, using force like that. He could have killed my grandson. I definitely want him charged," said Morgan.
Rockford police have not responded to our request for comment.
Rockford Public Schools 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said in a statement, "We are unable to comment on confidential student matters or any pending or ongoing legal matters."