Rio Arriba County deputy charged for tasing student
September 25, 2019 06:09 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Wednesday that his office filed criminal charges against former Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office deputy Jeremy Barnes.
Barnes is facing multiple charges including child abuse and aggravated battery for using a Taser on a special needs student at Espanola Valley High School in May.
“School should be a place where students feel safe and where law enforcement officials act to protect, not harm students,” said Attorney General Balderas. “No individual is above the law and my office looks forward to seeking justice for the child victim in this case.”
In a police report, Barnes claimed the boy was "verbally uncooperative and kept refusing to comply with security to be searched" for drugs.
Video from a lapel camera showed the deputy using his Taser after the boy called him a slur.
"What this case tells us and shows us is that we need a higher standard of accountability even for law enforcement officers,” said Attorney General Balderas. “They should police our school settings in a different way"
Balderas said he wants to send a strong message by pursuing criminal charges. He also plans to ask the public education secretary to review all school policies and procedures.
An official with the Rio Arriba County Sheriff Office said Barnes was terminated on Friday. However, a reason for his termination was not given.
Updated: September 25, 2019 06:09 PM
Created: September 25, 2019 11:52 AM
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