SOUTH HOUSTON, Texas - A former South Houston High School student and his parents have filed a lawsuit against the Pasadena Independent School District and an on-campus police officer. The family alleges an officer used excessive force and beat their then-16-year-old, son with a metal police baton.
The student, Cesar Suquet, had his cellphone taken away at school and admits he had words with the police officer when he tried to get it back.
"I asked him why was he being such an [expletive] about it,'" Suquet told Channel 2 news.
His comment upset the officer, Suquet said, and he started hitting him with a baton. The lawsuit states he was hit 18 times, several of the hits came after he was on the ground.
Photographs show the student with deep red bruises up and down his arms and on his back.
"I got down on my knees," he said, talking about how painful it was. "I couldn't take it anymore."
"I'm a former police officer with the Houston Police Department and I think this was not a reasonable use of force at all," said Mark Montgomery who is now an attorney representing Suquet and his family in the lawsuit. "He could have given him a ticket for abusive language and instead he chooses to beat this kid."
According to an internal affairs investigation, which is part of the lawsuit and was conducted by the Pasadena ISD Police, Cesar was loud, demanded his phone and pulled away when the officer tried to arrest him for disorderly conduct.
The Suquets and Montgomery think the officer's actions still crossed the line and they're now looking for policy changes to be made to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.
"It's just not right to strike a 16-year-old kid with a baton for calling you a name," said Montgomery. "We want them to review their policies and change that."
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