The Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Department and Espanola Public Schools are under fire over video of a deputy tasing a student. The deputy claims the student was resisting him, but the teen’s lawyer said the teen was not resisting and now, the teen might sue.
This is lapel video from Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Barnes. He just arrived at the Espanola Valley High’s administrative offices after a complaint about a 15-year-old special education student back in May.
“Oh, he’s refusing?” said Deputy Barnes in the video. “That’s fine. I’ll put his little a** in handcuffs and take him to Santa Fe.”
The teen’s lawyer said the school claims the teen was seen allegedly passing something to another student. Others in the video tell the deputy the teen did more than that. “Slammed you with a backpack?” asked the deputy in the video. But what happens soon after is hard to watch.
Deputy: “Stand up so I can…Turn around. You gonna be cooperative or uncooperative?”
Teen: “What do you think I’m doing?”
Deputy: “Fantastic, turn around. Turn around.”
Deputy: “I’m going to f****** tase you.”
Officer: “Tase him, tase him, tase him.”
Deputy: “Get on the ground! Get on the ground!”
In the video, the teen was heard calling the deputy a derogatory name just before he was slammed onto the desk. The teen’s lawyer said the deputy hit the student on the left side of his chest, something the taser’s manufacturer warns against for fear of stimulating cardiac arrest.
“Keep him turned,” the deputy said in the video before charging another taser round. The lawyer said the deputy triggered the taser a couple of times.
Deputy: “Comply right now. Stop resisting.”
Teen: “I’m not doing anything.”
The teen’s lawyer said the deputy’s claims of the student resisting are not true, and he could’ve handled the situation differently.
“It’s pain compliance, it’s not going to kill you,” said the deputy in the video. The teen’s injuries are unclear, but the lawyer said he’s terrified.
Teen: “Get her now, I want my mom now, I want her now.”
Teen: “No, I want her in here.”
In the video, the deputy claims to have found a ‘wax pen’ used to smoke weed in the teen’s pockets. The student denies it. The state Attorney General’s office is looking into the incident.
The deputy who fired the taser is still working pending an internal review. KRQE News 13 reached out to the district but have not heard back.