Student Sues Cops for Violent Campus Arrest

Smoking on campus was apparently her only crime
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2015 4:17 PM CST
Student Sues Cops for Violent Campus Arrest
Still from video filmed by Jaclyn Pazera's teacher of her being arrested by two officers after smoking on campus.   (YouTube)

Jaclyn Pazera was sitting in her philosophy class at Illinois' College of DuPage last December when two officers came in, tipped her desk over with her in it, and forcefully arrested her, the AP reports. Her alleged crime: smoking a cigarette on campus, apparently. Pazera filed a lawsuit against the two officers Thursday, claiming they used excessive force—resulting in several injuries—and violated her civil rights, according to Raw Story. The incident started when a campus police officer warned Pazera and a few other students not to smoke on campus. After Pazera declined to provide identification to the officer, he followed her to class and called for backup, the lawsuit claims. What happened inside the classroom was recorded by Pazera's teacher and another student.

Raw Story reports Pazera finally did show the officer her student ID after she was confronted by him and a second officer inside her philosophy class. The officers allegedly told her they were arresting her for trespassing anyway, slammed her to the ground, and handcuffed her. Video recorded by Pazera's teacher shows Pazera insisting that she isn't resisting arrest and begging to be let up, according to the AP. The lawsuit claims Pazera was "manhandled" and suffered wrist and shoulder injuries. It also claims the officers used a stun gun to threaten a student recording the incident and confiscated his cellphone. They didn't know the teacher was also filming them, Raw Story reports. Pazera was charged with obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest. Those charges were dropped months later. According to AP, the college is launching an investigation. (More police brutality stories.)

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