The body-cam footage of a sheriff in Texas has revealed how he tasered a 16-year-old boy at a federally-run shelter for migrant children and called him ‘El stupido,’ or stupid.
The clip from May 2020 is from an incident at the Southwest Key Casa Blanca shelter in San Antonio, Texas, when they had called the Bexar County Sheriff’s office for help. The teenager had only been at the shelter for about a week and by May 2020 he had already spent nearly nine months at five such shelters in California, Virginia and Texas.
According to the body camera footage, when Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Divers reached the shelter, he was informed by the staff about the boy being aggressive, having broken things and his refusal to go to school, reported Reveal News.
Mr Divers entered the building and found the child in the bathroom. “If they’re going to take me, let’s just f*****g get it over with,” the child yelled in Spanish to the staffers at the facility.
The footage showed that he didn’t request the shelter officials for any evidence of the child’s alleged wrongdoing and asked if they wanted to press charges.
When the interim director of the facility Ricardo Cisneros said ‘yes,’ Mr Divers said he would wait for his partner to arrive and then they will “take care of this.” The boy, meanwhile, asked several times what they were going to do with him.
Mr Divers’s partner, Deputy Harold Schneider, arrived after about seven minutes. “Ready? I’m going to tase this kid,” said Mr Divers in English even as he was informed that the boy doesn’t understand English very well.
The staff moved aside as he took out the gun. He directed the teenager to stand up and when he did Mr Divers shot him with his taser. The boy showed no signs of resisting arrest. Mr divers used the taser on his torso and thighs.
The footage shows that the teenager experienced the electric current for about 35 seconds after which Mr Divers’ partner cuffed him and called him “El stupido”.
His grandmother, who has been in contact with the teenager via weekly phone calls, said he was a carefree kid before his detention. The news report quoted her as saying that the boy has been suffering from depression.
She said since the time he was tasered, her grandson cried more during the weekly phone calls and even talked about self harm. She revealed that the teenager was terrified of being tasered again and wanted to seek deportation to Honduras to escape the shelters but was scared of the threats that forced him to run away in the first place.
The boy had left Honduras at 15 due to threat from local gangs.