Charges dropped against Chicago high school student in tasing incident with police

A teen who was caught in a conflict with a school police officer says she is glad to be getting back to normal, rather than looking at felony charges in the incident

(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Cook County Juvenile Court on Wednesday said that a student will no longer face felony charges from an incident involving the police using a taser on her at Chicago’s Marshall High School last month.

According to Chicago Sun Times, prosecutors charged Dnigma Howard with two felony counts of aggravated battery. She was also accused of kicking, biting and spitting on two officers who worked at the school.

“I’m relieved. I’m ready to get back to school,” Howard, told reporters after the Court hearing.

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Officers were trying to move Howard, 16, off the school’s property after she was suspended on Jan. 29. Another Marshall student filmed the incident.

Although Howard admitted she “was wrong” for her actions, she said she was responding to the officers’ aggressive force.

Howard was initially banned from the school and placed on electronic monitoring. Chicago Public School officials soon said that the incident between Howard and the officers were “disturbing” and the officers would no longer work at the school.

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“Today was a good day,” Howard’s attorney, Andrew M. Stroth said on Wednesday. “The state has decided to dismiss the charges against Dnigma Howard and we thank God for that. This case is about failed leadership in the Chicago Public School system, about failed leadership at Marshall High School.”

Stroth said that officials at the school did not follow an Individualized Education Program for Howard, which details a plan for how students who are eligible for special education services would be taught.

The attorney also said that officers used excessive force by punching Howard and using a stun gun. He pointed out it was “unacceptable” that officers didn’t have their body cameras turned on either.

Howard’s father, Laurentio Howard, said he was satisfied with the decision about the charges being dropped and that ready to get his daughter back to school.

He’s still unsure whether his daughter will return back to Marshall or transfer, but he said this incident still brings up the issue of whether police officers should be at schools.

Stroth stated he is assisting the Howard family with a suit against Chicago Public Schools, the high school’s administrators and the city’s police department.

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