PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The lawyer representing two students allegedly threatened and attacked in the Woodland Hills School District released new video Tuesday of a third alleged incident.
He claims there’s a clear pattern of abuse targeting black students in the district.
“If a picture speaks a thousand words… a video has to speak a million,” said civil rights attorney Todd Hollis at a Tuesday press conference.
With alleged victims and their families present, Hollis showed videos from alleged incidents in the Woodland Hills School District.
One dates back to March 3, 2015. The student, who was 15 at the time, was asked to leave class and report to the office. The video shows school resource officer Steve Shaulis putting the teen in a headlock.
“Body slams him to the ground. Here comes Principal [Kevin] Murray. He holds the kids’ head down into the carpet, Shaulis is deploying his Taser,” said Hollis of the video.
Lisa Washington’s Report:
Flashes seen on the video show the Taser allegedly being used three times, Hollis said.
Hollis says a 14-year-old student with special needs also recorded Murray, allegedly threatening him. The attorney says another 14-year-old had his teeth knocked out by Shaulis, and Murray was again present.
“You’ll see Principal Kevin Murray come in and out of the scene. You see the young man has not come out of the room that he was just recently walked into,” Hollis said.
When the incident happened, attorney Phil DiLucente, who represents both Murray and Shaulis, claimed the principal was not aware of what happened until it had already transpired. However, the video shown Tuesday clearly shows him there.
DiLucente: “Mr. Murray was in the vicinity, but Mr. Murray did not participate whatsoever.”
KDKA’s Brenda Waters: “Was he aware of it?”
DiLucente: “He was aware of it as anyone else was following the incident.”
Hollis says he plans to file suit and wants the superintendent, the principal, any administrator who was aware of the alleged incidents, the school board and the school resource officer fired.
“What Mr. Hollis has done here is take two or three isolated incidents over the course of several years in a building of 1,700 students and has managed to weave that into a conspiracy,” said Woodland Hills Superintendent Alan Johnson.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office says it is aware of the videos that were shown today and is working with both state and federal agencies to determine what, if any, crimes have been committed.
In a statement, they say:
“In the course of the investigative work by the Allegheny County Police, our office was made aware of the videos that were shown to the media today.
“As we have previously stated, we are working with other agencies, both state and federal, to determine what if any crimes have been committed and which venue best addresses the issues presented.
“The investigation is ongoing and, when appropriate, we will comment further.”