LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A fight between students at Jeffersontown High School on Wednesday escalated to the point that a school resource officer called police for backup and a student was tased.
JCPS spokesman Daniel Kemp said the incident took place around 1 p.m. when a school resource officer intervened in a fight between two students in the cafeteria. Rajae Tinker, who was fighting with another student over headphones, was arrested, along with his brother, Roghae Tinker, who intervened.
"One of those students attempted to fight the SRO, which prompted him to request assistance from Jeffersontown Police," Kemp said.
Rajae, a freshman, said he never did anything to the officer to warrant the fight escalating.
"He just grabbed me by my neck and threw me to the ground and hit my face," he said.
Rajae and Roghae's mother, Quinnita Dobson, said the officers' forceful actions weren't necessary.
"There’s no reason why they should be kicking him and kneeing him and tase him while he is already on the ground," she said. "It’s three big police officers."
Jeffersontown Police Chief Ken Hatmaker, however, said a Jeffersontown officer was "sucker-punched," adding that the video clearly shows his officers being attacked and "outnumbered."
"I saw my officer attacked, hit in the head," Hatmaker said, adding that he saw one student hit the officer "high," and another student hit him "low."
Roghae, who was tased after intervening to help his brother, said he thinks the the officer overreacted.
"He had the right to put me down but not to tase me," said Roghae, a sophomore. "I was already down. There were three officers on me, and I couldn’t do nothing, and he just came in and tased me."
Hatmaker defended his officers' response Wednesday night and said it's fortunate no one was seriously hurt.
"This was a quick and appropriate response by police to gain control of the situation," Hatmaker said. "I want the whole story out there."
Rajae was suspended by JCPS for four days and Roghae was suspended for 10 days. Below is a letter that the school sent home to parents Wednesday:
Dear Jeffersontown High School Families: I wanted to be sure to let you know about an incident that happened this afternoon involving several of our students. Around 1 p.m., our school resource officer (SRO) intervened in a fight between two students in the cafeteria. One of those students attempted to fight the SRO, which prompted him to request assistance from Jeffersontown Police. As the SRO led the student out of school, the students’ brother, accompanied by several other students, then escalated a fight with another police officer—resulting in the officer deploying a Taser on the student. I want you to know that these kinds of incidents will not be tolerated at Jeffersontown High School. I am in the process of reviewing school security footage to determine every student involved in this afternoon’s incident, and those students will be disciplined to the fullest extent our policies will allow. We always want to keep the lines of communication open with families. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.
Jeffersontown High School Principal
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