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The family of a 17-year-old California student said they are demanding justice after the school district released surveillance video that shows a staff security guard beating the special-needs sophomore.
Oakland High School student Francisco Martinez left Children's Hospital in Oakland Thursday evening after returning again to ask doctors for help managing the intense pain he says he's had ever since a beating he suffered at the hands of a school security officer last week.
"He slapped me. He hit me so hard, it threw me out of my chair. I hit the floor with my chin first. I had a scar right here," Martinez said, pointing to the area above his throat.
KTVU obtained surveillance video from the Oakland Unified School District which they say shows the officer beating the 17-year-old special needs student at Oakland High School about 9 a.m. on Monday May 19th.
Martinez said there was more abuse that was not captured on the surveillance video clip.
The video shows a guard in a white shirt pushing the wheelchair with Martinez down the hallway away from the camera. Along the way, the guard raises his right hand and smacks the student. Seconds later, he hits him again and Martinez is thrown out of his wheelchair onto the floor.
Martinez said what was not caught on the surveillance video clip was the guard beating him and throwing him to the ground in the elevator just minutes before.
"Throws me to the corner of the elevator and then grabs my chair," said Martinez.
Martinez says the incident began when the officer tried to clear the hall and grabbed Martinez's wheelchair to push him to class. The student says he protested and told the officer to let go of the chair. He says after an argument, the guard handcuffed him. He admits spitting at the guard in protest just before the beating on the tape.
"I was handcuffed, so I didn't have no way to defend myself but my mouth," Martinez said.
Martinez, who has cerebral palsy, says he had been going to therapy to strengthen his legs so he could try to walk. He says when he told the guard he was in pain, the guard cursed at him.
"He tells me like that, 'I don't give a ***! I hope you don't walk for two to three weeks,'" Martinez said.
An Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint says that staff notified Oakland Police and the security officer was immediately fired.
They say the officer is Marchell Mitchell. He was arrested by Oakland Police and the Alameda County District Attorney's office has filed felony charges of corporal injury to a child. Flint says Mitchell was hired as a substitute security officer in November and passed a background check.
On Thursday, Francisco's mother, speaking in Spanish, said she wants justice for her son. She shared photos which she says were taken just after the attack last week showing injuries to his face, his neck and arms.
KTVU obtained a copy of a letter that was sent to students, parents and staff the next day by the Oakland High School Principal. It stated that a member of the staff "acted in an appalling manner toward one of our students." It continued saying "We consider thsi behavior completely unacceptable."
The principal stated, "I'm shocked and deeply hurt by this behavior and apologize on behalf of the staff at Oakland High."
Marchell Mitchell is expected to appear in court on June 16th for a pretrial hearing.