Rhode Island High School Students Pepper-Sprayed, Arrested During Protest
It was this video that sparked what started out as a peaceful protest at Tolman High School in Pawtucket, R.I., today. The video, shot Wednesday, shows a school resource officer purportedly body-slamming 14-year-old Tyler DeBurgo. The 20-second video gives only a glimpse of what appears to be a scuffle between DeBurgo, his brother, and the police officer. Police say one of the brothers was previously shouting obscenities and threatening to fight another student. When the resource officer intervened, the student's older brother reportedly pushed the officer. Police say that's when the two brothers attacked the resource officer, hitting him in the face. The officer was able to get the older brother on the ground, and used a takedown maneuver on the younger one. The two students in the video were arrested.
In response to the incident, a small group of students were invited to Pawtucket City Hall today to discuss what had happened. Police say about 200 Tolman High School students walked out of their classrooms in protest this morning, and gathered outside of City Hall calling for the dismissal of the school's resource officer.
Police responded to the protest when it became unruly. A car window was smashed and some students began spitting at and threatening officers.
Police used pepper spray to subdue the defiant protesters. Eight students and two adults were arrested during the protest.