Deputy threatens to shoot high school student in truancy flap
Written by Leah Jones on February 11, 2020
iStock(NEW YORK) — Authorities are investigating body camera video from a deputy in Florida in which he is heard threatening to shoot a high school student attempting to leave campus.
The confrontation between the officer, student and school employee occurred on Dec. 17 on the grounds of River Ridge High School in New Port Richey.
According to Nedra Miller, her son — a high school student — was trying to go to an orthodontist appointment after dropping off another student at the school, when he encountered the officer and another employee, whom Pasco County schools identified as Cindy Bond.
Officer Amanda Hunter with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News that the video had been released by Miller, after she’d put in a Freedom of Information Act request for it. The video was then released on Miller’s Facebook page on Jan. 30.
In the body camera footage, the incident appears to have already started. Bond and the officer are in a golf cart and seem to be blocking the student’s pickup truck from leaving the parking lot. Bond tells the student that he needs to get a parent on the phone and then she’ll let him go.
“You have to have permission from a parent to leave,” Bond tells the student.
The teen inches his truck forward, and never gives the officer a reason for why he was leaving school, according to the video.
“You’re truant,” says the officer, whom the department would not identify. “You’re gonna get shot, you get another f—— foot closer to me. You run into me, you’ll get f—— shot.”
The officer never draws his weapon.
“You’re not holding me here, right? But you’re standing in the way so I can’t leave,” the student says.
“This is my campus, brother,” the officer says.
Later, the officer tells the student again that he’s truant. “You’re trying to leave campus, that’s what truant is,” he says.
“No, I’m not truant,” the student says. “I’m allowed to leave campus. I am old enough to leave. Are you holding me here against my will right now?”
“You’re defying Ms. Bond, using profanities,” the officer says.
Before the video ends, Bond tells the student to take an early vacation and not return for the rest of the school week.
“You’re a high enough authority to do that right?” the student asks.
“Yes, I am,” Bond says.
Neither side budges on the video for several minutes until the student eventually leaves his vehicle and goes back into the school.
“It’s actually so funny because I’m leaving to go do something, like, legitimate. … So when I come back with, like, an excuse paper that says I was allowed to leave, it’s, like, so funny,” the student says.
“There is no excuse,” the officer says.
“There is an excuse,” the student says. “I’m not gonna tell you.”
Linda Cobbe, a spokeswoman for the Pasco County Schools, said that the video did not capture the entire incident. Because of the ongoing investigation into the incident, the sheriff’s department said it would not be releasing any of the officer’s body camera video. Cobbe said the student was in 11th grade at the high school.
Cobbe told ABC News that Bond was a discipline instructions assistant whose tasks included keeping parents from entering the student parking lot to drop children off as well as stopping students from skipping school. Cobbe said that Bond had been “dealt with,” but that she was still working for the district.
“All three were acting like children and all three are wrong,” Miller said in a Feb. 7 Tampa Bay Times article. “But the cop more so. He’s just flat out not OK to be around children. I was shocked that an officer of the law working with children would speak to my son that way.”
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