Officer relieved of duty following altercation outside Orange HS

Posted: Updated:
ORANGE -

An Orange police officer has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an investigation into an altercation with students that was caught on camera, the Orange Police Department said on Friday.

A cellphone video clip sent to News 12 New Jersey Thursday night shows a number of people gathered outside Orange High School. An officer is seen trying to restrain two students before a man attempts to intervene and is then shoved by the officer.

According to a statement from the Orange Police Department, the man in the video was an Orange High School vice principal who was issued a ticket.

“Contrary to rumors on social media, an Orange Board of Education staff member was not arrested; he was issued a ticket and the issuance of that ticket is part of the investigation,” the statement read in part.

Twin sisters Nyasia and Kyasia Sorrells, who claim to be the girls seen in the video, told News 12 New Jersey that they were getting pizza at a shop across from the high school with a group of other students when the officers attempted to disperse the crowd. The girls said one of the officers then got physical with Kyasia Sorrells and Nyasia Sorrells came to her aid.

“(The officer) started pushing people, and then he grabbed me and put me in the pizza store and put my arm behind my back,” Kyasia Sorrells said.

“I saw it through the window, and I came outside. And I'm like, ‘what are you doing?’ Then he pushed me, and I had a plate of food in my hand and it fell,” Nyasia Sorrells said. “So then I went back over there, and I'm trying to get him off of her and then he swung me by my hair and started banging her head on the floor.”

The department said that in light of the altercation Officer Hanifah Davis was relieved of duty pending the outcome of an investigation. Department officials said the Essex County Prosecutor's Office was notified of the incident, and the Orange police will cooperate fully with the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Orange Police Department and Mayor Dwayne Warren ask that citizens withhold judgment and act responsibly until all the facts are known.

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