Officer Accused of Breaking Student’s Arm

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AKRON, Ohio -- An Akron police officer is accused of using excessive force after a confrontation inside Jennings Middle School that left a 13-year-old student with a broken arm.

The confrontation happened in October.

A security camera captured Tamika Williams, 13, being shoved across a hallway against some lockers by officer Jon Morgan.

"The officer attacks her and pushes her up against a locker, puts her arm behind her back using the police technique that he was trained to do and he lifts her up off the floor. That's when her arm breaks," said the Williams' family attorney, Eddie Siplin.

Williams had been a disciplinary transfer to the school from another school. Siplin says a police officer at the other school sent Morgan an email telling him about the issues they have had with the girl in the past.

Siplin contends that Morgan intended to get the upper hand with Williams soon after she arrived at Jennings.

"He took that email and read it to some other students and told those students that when she gets here I'm going to show her who's boss and on her second day I guess he got the opportunity to show her who's boss," said Siplin.

The girl's mother, Sandra Williams, says she is outraged that her daughter's arm was broken.

"When I send my child to school I send her there to be safe.  Police officers are there, security is there, you know, bigger people there, so you wouldn't think your child would get hurt at school," said Williams' mother.  "I was literally in tears. I'm like, oh my God, nothing ever been broken on Tamika before, nothing ever been broken on me so I can just imagine her pain so I was very outraged about it."

Williams filed a complaint with the city soon after the incident alleging Morgan used excessive force, but says she has never heard anything back from anyone with either the school or the police department.

Fraternal Order of Police President Paul Hlynski says what is seen on the video is only a small part of what actually occurred between the girl and officer Morgan.

"There's just a lot more to this case than meets the eye," said Hlynski.  "We stand behind the actions of the officer.  We will support the officer during the disciplinary process and in any appeals that may take place but we cannot find anything wrong with what this officer did."

Akron school superintendent David James issued a statement on Friday saying: "This was a serious and unfortunate incident. We are investigating what, exactly, happened and are reviewing policies and procedures with the Akron Police Department."

Morgan has now been officially removed from his duty at any Akron school until after the prosecutor's office completes an investigation of the incident to determine if excessive force was used.

"In this day and age you are expected to enforce the law, but you are not allowed to talk to anybody forcefully, you are not allowed to touch anybody, according to some people, and that's not what the law says.  We are allowed to use the appropriate amount of force to gain control of the situation and that's what the officer did," said Hlynski.

"They should have been thinking what's right first and deal with the legal ramifications later, and our deal here is we want to hold them accountable and make them do what's right first and the legal stuff will take care of itself," said Siplin.