AKRON, Ohio -- The Akron Police Department is facing a federal civil rights lawsuit for a confrontation between a police officer and a student at an Akron middle school that allegedly left the student with a broken arm. The incident was caught on surveillance video.
It happened at Jennings Community Learning Center in Akron in October of last year.
The video, from a surveillance camera inside the school, shows Akron Police School Resource Officer Jon Morgan pushing the 13-year-old girl across the hallway into the lockers. The officer can be seen pushing the girl's arm behind her back as she faced the lockers.
Attorney Eddie Sipplin filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of the girl and her mother.
"The premise of the lawsuit is, first and foremost, the officer violated my client's rights while acting under the color of law," Sipplin said.
The lawsuit seeks more than a million dollars on a laundry list of allegations, including excessive force, failure to train and supervise officers, cruel and unusual punishment and conspiracy.
The lawsuit also alleges the Akron Police Department modified the incident report as part of a cover-up.
"Somehow or another they find a way to justify the officer's actions and enough is enough," Sipplin said.
Paul Hlynsky, president of the Akron Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, denied the allegations.
“There is information that this child's arm was injured prior to this incident. Officer Morgan gave this child a break by not arresting her when she deserved arrest," Hlynsky said.
The lawsuit names the officer, and several of his commanding officers, including Akron Police Chief James Nice, as defendants.
"I, as well as FOP 7, stand behind the officer 100 percent. The officer did not violate anybody's civil rights. The officer had to take action against a juvenile that was combative and hostile," Hlynsky said.
The student was sent to Jennings on a disciplinary transfer. Several days after the video surfaced in January, she was arrested on new allegations she assaulted a teacher.
That case is pending.