On February 9, 2017, Syracuse police officer and school resource officer (SRO) Vallon Smith used excessive force against a 14-year-old Nottingham High School student with special needs, according to the Mayor’s Citizen Review Board (CRB).
A surveillance video from the school shows Officer Smith punching the child in the face, placing his hands on his throat, and slamming him to the ground. The student suffered a fractured left elbow and split lip, as a result of the incident. In addition, the CRB found Officer Smith’s report contradicts surveillance video of the incident.
This isn’t the first time Officer Vallon Smith reacted violently when angered, and hurt someone. It’s not even the first time he has been caught on camera doing so. On July 28, 2016, Officer Smith crossed the street to attack anti-violence activist Maurice “Mo” Crawley when Crawley was filming a traffic stop.
Not only was there no justice for Crawley, but District Attorney William Fitzpatrick charged him with harassment.The same DA is now looking into charges against Officer Smith in relation to the incident at Nottingham. We must demand justice, and stand for JB and all the children in the Syracuse City School District.
- Sign the petition from Nottingham High School parents and community members, demanding the Syracuse Police Department ensures Officer Vallon Smith cannot return to Nottingham High School or serve as an SRO in any school in the Syracuse City School District.
- File a written complaint against Officer Vallon Smith to the Syracuse City School District. Download the form in English here, and in Spanish here.
- Attend the rally and press conference by Charles Bonner, lawyer for JB, at City Hall, Tuesday, April 3 at noon. We know it’s short notice, and we need all available supporters to turn up in support of JB and his mother.
- Black Lives Matter: DA Fitzpatrick’s pro-police bias casts doubt on his objectivity (Commentary)
- DA reviews if Syracuse officer should be charged in arrest of teen at school
- Citizen Review Board Findings Letter (excerpt, PDF) Liza Acquah for JB vs. Officers One and Two, Primary Allegations of Misconduct: Excessive Force