Cincinnati school officials have released disturbing surveillance video which reveals how a locker room assault left an eight-year-old boy unconscious two days before he hanged himself. The video, shot from a hallway camera at Carson Elementary School shows Gabriel Taye being pulled to the ground by another student in a bathroom and left lying for over five minutes while other boys crowd over his body and kick and prod him.
Eventually, school officials come to his aid, but Gabriel’s mother says they did not tell her that her son had been assaulted or he had lost consciousness. Now investigators are trying to determine if the bullying led to his suicide and whether criminal charges should be brought.
Immediately before the shocking assault, the video shows the assailant, who is wearing a red and gray coat and sporting a dyed hairstyle, walking into the bathroom. In the early parts of the footage, the boy is seen consorting with his friends.
At one point, he knocks another classmate down to the floor by hitting him in the stomach, sending him down on all fours. The boy with the dyed hair is then seen leaving the bathroom. He returns moments later and greets Gabriel, who is wearing a hooded jacket, in the bathroom.
It appears as if the boy and Gabriel are shaking hands. What happens next is unclear. Gabriel falls suddenly to the ground and appears unconscious, though it is impossible to discern what exactly the boy did to him.
Attorneys for Gabriel’s mother who saw the video claim that he was thrown against the wall, though that is difficult to discern from the footage that has been released. As Gabriel lies motionless on the ground, the boy immediately gives a celebratory chest-bump to a friend.
In the next five minutes, children are seen peering over Gabriel. They kick him, step on him, hop over him, and appear to taunt him.Some of the students videotaped going into the bathroom appear to be checking in on Gabriel.
Two minutes after Gabriel hit the ground, a school official is seen opening one of the doors leading to the hallway where the bathroom is located. The official, who apparently does not see Gabriel lying on the ground, closes the door and disappears from view.
Three minutes later, after many children had already walked in and out of the bathroom with Gabriel lying on the ground, school officials are seen tending assistance.
At least three adult supervisors including the assistant principal and the school nurse are seen helping Gabriel to his feet and accompanying him out of the bathroom and into the hallway. Cincinnati school officials debated whether or not to release the video.
In the end, they decided it was in the public interest to distribute the footage. The school board sought and received approval from Gabriel’s mother.
Cincinnati Public Schools said in a statement, We felt this video added to the public knowledge about what happened in this case. We believe parents and members of the community have the right to important information that helps them understand how safe students at local schools are.
The video footage was taken from an incident and two days later, Gabriel committed suicide by hanging himself in his bedroom with a necktie. After viewing the video, a coroner has reopened an investigation into Gabriel’s suicide.
The coroner is urging police to treat this incident ‘as a homicide until proven otherwise.’
Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco told Cincinnati radio station WLW that she asked police for a full investigation to determine whether there are contributing factors to Gabriel’s suicide. It was very hard for me to believe that an 8-year-old would even know what it means to commit suicide.
Police initially closed the investigation, believing that school officials were in better position to handle the matter. It was reported, however, that a detective asked for the name and date of birth of the assailant in the red and gray coat.
Cincinnati police said in a statement that they would have no further comment about the case, and they directed a question to the coroner’s office.
Cincinnati school officials have released disturbing surveillance video which reveals how a locker room assault left an eight-year-old boy unconscious two days before he hanged himself.
Shot from a hallway camera at Carson Elementary School shows Gabriel Taye being pulled to the ground by another student in a bathroom and left lying for over five minutes while other boys crowd over his body and kick and prod him.