Video Of Bullying Leads To Students Arrested

Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-21 00:02:27-04

An incident led a Murfreesboro police officer to handcuff and arrest young students at an elementary school, and it was recorded in a cell phone video.

The arrests have sparked widespread controversy and a federal investigation.

A filter was added to the video by the person who shot it, and NewsChannel 5 has blurred the juveniles faces to hide their identities.

The incident happened in Murfreesboro on March 20 in an area off Bradyville Pike. Several youngsters followed a child while yelling at him.

"Look at him walking away ... walking away," said one of the boys. The video showed a smaller child hitting the victim from behind.

Seconds later, another joins in throwing more punches. The group can be heard egging them on, "Get him ... Get in the grass. Get in the grass."

The boy never retaliated, and did not appear to be injured. The entire video runs about a minute and a half.

At least five students ages ten, eleven and 12 were handcuffed and arrested - some at Hobgood Elementary School last Friday.

It happened nearly four weeks after the video was shot.

"It could definitely be evidence if you have someone to testify that it is a true and exact copy of the events it depicts," said Newschannel5 Legal Analyst Nick Leonardo.

It was worth noting the little 6-year-old seen punching the victim was not charged with assault. In fact, no one was.

But the other older kids were charged with criminal responsibility for egging things on.

"It's legal, but it does seem a stretch under the law," said Leonardo who added that  an officer making an arrest has the right to handcuff a suspect, but in this case.

"It's obviously very controversial," said Leonardo.

The victim's parent saw the video posted online and asked police to take action based in part on the video evidence the police department made the arrests.

Yet many have asked if the officer really need to handcuff the kids at school? Did the police go too far? Couldn't this have been resolved by simply calling the parents to address the bullying? There will be more to come.

Murfreesboro police, federal agents and the District Attorney all declined comment on the video because the case involves minors.