RESERVE, La. —
The video shows a student being forcefully removed from the cafeteria at East St. John High School by an officer with the St. John Parish Sheriff's Office.
“I was trying to get away because I was terrified because he choked me and I told him I couldn’t breathe and he was like 'if you can talk, you can breathe,'” said Modisty Reynolds, the student in the video.
Leading up to the incident, the 16-year-old junior admits to fighting with another student who allegedly had choked her cousin.
“I wasn’t trying to get in no fight,” said Reynolds. “I just wanted to tell her not to put her hands on my cousin and then that went into a fight."
“Who threw the first punch?” asked WWL-TV’s Paul Dudley. “The other girl,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds says the fight was broken up by the principal, then the officer grabbed her. At one point you can see her feet off of the ground. The officer then removes Reynolds from the cafeteria and arrested her for disturbing the peace.
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Reynolds’ mother, Stacey Jarreau, does not condone the fighting but says the officer should not have removed her daughter with such force.
“I know my child was disrespectful. I would be disrespectful too if someone grabbed me around my throat and manhandled me in front of everybody,” said Jarreau. “I think that he could have done better, you don’t grab a child around their throat, if that was me doing that to my child I would go to jail.”
St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre says he plans to address all of this Tuesday and that videos from other angles will be shown. Reynold’s father, Darell Housley, says he wants the officer to be reassigned.
“I just hope the sheriff's office can do something with him,” said Housley. “You know, just get him out because I don’t want to see anything happen to on one else.”
Reynolds is headed back to school tomorrow after being suspended for four days. She remains nervous
“I am still kind of scared about going there because I feel like the police officer is still going to be there but I am just going to go to my classes and just avoid any cops and do my work,” said Reynolds.
There will be a press conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Patrol Headquarter on Deputy Barton Granier Drive in LaPlace.