Video released of McGill-Toolen students pepper sprayed by police in Midtown
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
Two years after a controversial incident, body camera footage from Mobile Police has been released showing some footage of what happened when pepper spray was deployed on high school teens.
Six clips were released to the media Monday after a lawsuit concluded the footage was to be made public.
On Sept. 2 2016, many teens were celebrating a victory at the cannon in midtown Mobile when things became chaotic. Almost 100 students were estimated to be in the small space, drawing a police response.
One officer took matters into his own hands, pepper-spraying teens.
In the footage, you can hear officers defending their fellow officer, saying the large crowd warranted the response.
Today we spoke to one of the student’s mothers, Angela Helms, who said her son Hunter was not spray painting the cannon, he was just celebrating.
She said he and his friends who were sprayed were in pain for days following the incident, with swollen, red eyes.
One student stayed behind after most of the crowd dispersed, asking officers for their names and why pepper spray was deployed.
Now Public Safety director James Barber, then chief of police, said the officer was retrained on pepper spray usage. He also wanted to make sure to specify that he “never condoned” the actions of the students, who police say were acting unruly and in the road, but that the officer who used pepper-spray did so without sufficient warning.
In the footage, you can hear screaming. In the footage that displays the spray being deployed, there is no sound. Four of the six clips do have sound from that body camera footage.
Since that incident, Mobile Police have worked with McGill and Murphy to mitigate any future chaos, while still facilitating the tradition of painting the cannon.
The next round of the rivalry is in just five days, this coming weekend.