In an email sent Thursday to the Ledger-Enquirer, the attorney representing the Muscogee County School District called a video allegedly showing 13-year-old Montravious Thomas being carried to the front of Edgewood School by behavioral specialist Bryant Mosley “obviously an incomplete picture.”
On Sunday, the website All On Georgia posted “exclusive surveillance video” from “sources in the school system” that reportedly showed Mosley throwing Thomas over his shoulder before loading him onto a school bus. The video lasts 56 seconds and incorporates footage shot from two angles.
In the email to the newspaper, the attorney, Greg Ellington of Hall Booth Smith P.C., wrote that the video included “a brief segment of time” and did not contradict or refute a statement issued to media two days earlier by the district.
In that email statement from the Muscogee County School District, Valerie Fuller, the district’s director of communications and open records requests, wrote that “witnesses indicate that the child was up and walking and not in distress following the administered restraint.”
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The incident occurred Sept. 12, and Thomas’ right leg was amputated below the knee on Oct. 18.
Renee Tucker, the lawyer representing Thomas and his family, said she has unsuccessfully requested surveillance videos of the incident from the district.
On Tuesday, after viewing the leaked video, she told the Ledger-Enquirer: “We believe that the video, without dispute, contradicts the statement from the MCSD. It is clear that the MCSD employees and Mr. Mosley knew that Montravious was seriously injured and unable to walk on his own, and despite that knowledge, they all violated their duty to obtain emergency medical attention.”
On Thursday, Ellington wrote the email to the Ledger-Enquirer, answering the editor’s request for a further explanation of why the newspaper’s open records request for the videos and documents had been denied.
The request was for video footage of the incident in which Mosley physically restrained Thomas, as well as of Thomas being placed on the school bus. The Ledger-Enquirer’s original request was filed before the video was posted and the request for explanation, sent Tuesday, did not mention that video or All on Georgia.
In the email, in which Ellington contended that a student’s educational record protected by federal law includes surveillance video, he closed with this statement:
“With respect to the video posted over the weekend by ‘allongeorgia,’ it was not released to the public by MCSD. The video reports to show a brief segment in time at the front of the school. The video is obviously an incomplete picture of the events of the afternoon. The events depicted in that brief time interval is not a basis upon which one can appropriately conclude that the information previously released by the District, i.e. that the student was walking after the administration of the restraint, is incorrect.”