Camden Police Chief Boyd Wood announced today that he has relieved an officer of duty pending an investigation after seeing a viral cell phone video that showed the officer holding a student by the throat and lifting him off the ground.
The video, shot Monday morning at Camden Fairview High School, where Officer Jake Perry was a school resource officer, shows the officer pushing Dekyrion Ellis up against a wall and then lifting him off the ground in a chokehold. In an interview posted yesterday on the myarklamiss.com site, Ellis said he feared for his life and blacked out. He said he’d been fighting with another student in the school’s common area. (The video can be seen at the link.)
Ellis’ family took him to the hospital, where doctors took X-rays of his neck. Ellis said he was more embarrassed than injured.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Perry was wearing a body camera, but that his video had not yet been viewed. A Criminal Investigation Division captain is investigating.