Akin Gump Representing Schoolchildren in Suit Alleging Excessive Use of Force by Texas School Resource Officer

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump, in conjunction with the University of Texas School of Law Civil Rights Clinic, is representing, pro bono, three schoolchildren who, through their parents, have filed suit in federal court in Abilene, Texas, alleging that a school resource officer (SRO) employed by the Abilene Police Department violently assaulted them without justification on three separate occasions.

The lawsuit alleges that the SRO defendant used a “pain compliance” maneuver called an arm-bar against a 6-year-old kindergarten student and a chokehold against a 12-year old student and repeatedly slammed a 15-year old student against the wall and to the ground. Two of the students allege they were handcuffed and detained without probable cause following the SRO’s assaults.

The lawsuit also alleges that the city of Abilene, acting through the Abilene Police Department, and the Abilene Independent School District, where the children attended school and the assaults took place, are responsible for the defendant’s actions because they adopted and enforced policies allowing SROs to intervene and use force and restraint in minor school discipline incidents that do not involve criminal matters and where there is no threat of imminent physical harm or of serious property destruction, in contravention of state law and national best practices.

The case has received coverage from legal media outlets such as Law360 and The Texas Lawbook.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

# # #