Student says he was choked, tackled by officer after candy bar theft

The boy is facing charges and the officer is under investigation

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — A local high school student says a school resource officer choked and tackled him for stealing a candy bar.

Cell phone video shows the officer force the student to the floor.

The officer seen in the video is under investigation and the student and others are facing criminal charges.

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The mother of one of these students told Channel 2's Tom Regan she will fight the charges and that officer who wrestled her son to the ground used unwarranted excessive force.

The incident happened last week at Alcovy High School in Covington. Video captured the moment when 14-year-old Asah Glenn is confronted by a school resources officer and flipped to the floor.

Moments earlier, officials said he and a crowd of other student grabbed snacks from an open vending machine without paying.

"One of them choked me, slammed me to a brick wall, and then on the ground, dragged me around," Glenn told Channel 2 Action News. 

While he admitted it was wrong to steal the snack, he said the officer overreacted to the situation.

“I didn't know why he was doing it. Over an 85-cent candy bar,” Glenn said.

The teen showed off marks on his neck that he said were caused by the choke grip.

“My knees are scraped, my ribs bruised,” Glenn said.

The teen’s mother said she was shocked when she heard about the incident.

“My heart dropped,” Latoya Glenn said. “I was like my son is getting choked, I watched him getting slammed and his head hit the wall.”

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The student's mother said her son wasn't resisting anyone. She said the day after the incident she spoke with the resource officer and asked why.

“I sat down with the officer that slammed him and he did apologize,” Latoya Glenn said.

The family's attorney said the student resource officer had other options to defuse the situation.

“It was clearly an excessive use of force, were a minor incident was made into a violent unnecessary encounter,” said attorney Harold Spence.

The attorney said will push to get charges against the student dropped.

“I should apologize. That was uncalled for taking the Snickers bar out the vending machine, but they should apologize for what they did to me,” Glenn said.

The student's mother is calling for retraining of school officers. The officer involved is reassigned while a state agency determines if the use of force was appropriate.