Third grader alleges officer assaulted him after school assembly

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 11:40 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - A nine-year-old student in Washington, D.C., claims an officer assaulted him and other students after an assembly on gangs.

The school district, D.C. Public Schools, has sent a letter out to parents about the alleged incident.

“I’m just trying to get to the bottom of it,” the student’s mother, Alexis Gibbs, “Like I said, I’m not OK. My son was harmed in the hands of you know, the school.”

Gibbs says her son Raynard came home with facial bruises Thursday, telling her the police did it.

“Grabbed me by the neck and slammed me on the desk,” he recounted.

His school Patterson Elementary acknowledged there was an assembly involving third grade boys and police.

Raynard says the issue of Crips and Bloods gangs came up. He claims he and two other students were taken into a computer room, accused of admiring gangs and slammed into the desk. Raynard says his lip was busted and another kid’s tooth was chipped.

“He said ‘Don’t tell your parents, I get y’all some pizza,’” he said. “Keep it quiet, don’t tell your parents.”

The school principal sent home a letter Friday about the reported incident.

“During an assembly activity, it was reported by students that a visiting officer conducted a demonstration on a student that involved physical force,” the statement said in part. “As a principal, I take this allegation seriously.”

The school system has referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police Department and to Child and Family Services.

“I don’t know if this was some type of ‘scared straight’ kind of thing and that would even have been fine with me if I was notified,” Gibbs said. “However, my son was assaulted, and like I said I was never informed.”

The Metropolitan Police Department has declined to comment about the incident as it investigates.