Belleville chief: Released video to enlighten community

Excerpt from News-Democrat
BELLEVILLE, Illinois — The city’s police chief released the video of Monday’s school bus attack to send a message to the community.

“To show the kind of behavior to the public that we as a community should not tolerate,” said Chief William Clay of the 13-minute-long video that shows two Belleville West High School students punching and choking another student.

“Also to educate the children that were involved,” Clay said. “Although they were not assaulting the individual, they cheered it on.”

The 14- and 15-year-old students were suspended and face possible juvenile charges for attacking the 17-year-old. The attack was caught on a bus video camera and shows other students cheering on the attack and taking cell phone photos of the bleeding victim.

“We believe the public has a right to assess these things, see them and enter into dialogue,” Clay said Wednesday. “I thought it was something we should entrust to the public. I believe the public as a whole has a right to view these kinds of things, to assess those, to talk to their children.”

Belleville High School District 201 Superintendent Greg Moats said Wednesday that the victim had yet to return to school. “He would like for some of the effects to go away,” he said.

The school has offered counseling to the victim, Moats said. Full story.


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