In a video capturing a high school band in New Orleans performing in a Mardi Gras parade last Thursday, both students and parade attendees look shocked and confused after seeing a police officer randomly shove a band player.
Now, his mother is threatening legal action because the cop ain’t have to do allat.
In the video, L.B. Landry High School student Brandon Mitchell plays his horn while standing near a barricade where the crowd was blocked off. Behind the barricade were a few New Orleans Police Department officers who were leaning their backs on the metal fence. As Mitchell blew his horn unbothered, one officer suddenly turned around to look at him and then shoved him with his elbow, pushing Mitchell off balance.
Yeah no, this wasn’t a light shove. More like a “aye yo, get the f-ck off me” shove.
Mitchell’s mother, Tiffany Jones, told WWLTV that her son confronted the officer, asking him if anything was wrong. In the video, Mitchell faced the officer with his hands at his sides and another bandmate walked up next to him but got pushed in the chest by another cop trying to de-escalate the interaction. The other bandmate then tried to get Mitchell to keep up with the band as they began to march on while Mitchell was still visibly frozen in frustration.
“As my son was continuing to try and get some kind of response from the police officer, he turned his back to him as if he didn’t just physically assault him and push him,” Jones told WDSU.
Jones also said her son didn’t make her aware of the situation until days later. Now, there’s an investigation underway.
“The Office of the Independent Police Monitor is very concerned by the footage of what occurred to your son. We will monitor to ensure the investigation is initiated and conducted according to NOPD policy,” the agency said to Jones via Instagram in response to the video of the incident.
Read more from WWLTV:
On Sunday, NOPD told WWL Louisiana its Public Integrity Bureau (PIB) is investigating the incident.
According to the Office of the Independent Police Monitor, the officer was immediately taken off his parade route assignment.
“The Office of the Independent Police Monitor (OIPM) has received and viewed the currently available footage of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officer at the parade route appearing to push a student in a marching band. Upon review, the OIPM was immediately concerned by the behavior of the officer and promptly spoke with NOPD leadership. The OIPM understands the public’s frustration and disappointment. The OIPM can confirm the NOPD has taken immediate action including initiating a misconduct investigation and removing the officer from that assignment. In the coming days, the OIPM will be working with NOPD leadership to determine how to best move forward to address community concerns and hopefully work directly with the affected individuals and school. The OIPM cannot comment on any aspect of the pending investigation or the identity of the accused officer at this time.”
Even the school district, Algiers Charter Schools, responded to the incident saying they were “disappointed” in the video and that “such behavior does not reflect the standards they expect from law enforcement,” per WDSU. However, Mitchell’s restraint from engaging in “negative behavior” is exactly what the conflict resolution strategy they try to teach students.
Jones said Mitchell was just crowned homecoming king and had been the leader of his mellophone section. Now, she demands an apology from the NOPD for what she says was an embarrassment to her son.