- Gabriel Taye, 8, was assaulted by classmate in school bathroom on January 24
- Two days later, he hanged himself with a necktie in his bedroom
- Video of the bathroom incident was released by Cincinnati Public Schools
- It shows Gabriel falling to the floor after shaking hands with another boy
- Gabriel seen lying on ground for five minutes as others step on him and kick him
- Others boys were seen to then ‘step over, point, mock, nudge, kick,’ him
- Video has prompted coroner to reopen investigation
- Gabriel’s mother, Cornelia Reynolds, approved the release of the video
A disturbing video released by Cincinnati Public Schools on Friday shows 8-year-old Gabriel Taye being bullied and assaulted at school two days before he committed suicide.
Taye laid on the ground as other children step over him with a few stopping to check on his well being. At one point in the video, an adult staff member is seen in the hallway and seems to be unaware that Taye is laying unconscious nearby in the doorway.
As multiple students stop over his motionless body, a few seem to kick and nudge him. Five minutes after Taye hit the ground, an adult was alerted by students and staff responded to check on him.
CPS said that after reviewing the video, officials discussed whether or not the video should be published.
“We felt this video added to the public knowledge about what happened in this case,” the school system said in an accompanying news release. “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 Cincinnati Enquirer obtained a police report that included Cincinnati Police Homicide Detective Eric Karaguleff describing the January 24 as criminal assault.
“I witnessed behavior that in my belief is bullying and could even rise to the level of criminal assault,” he said, adding that the ages of the perpetrators played a factor in the decision not to file charges.
Officials at Cincinnati Public Schools initially refused to release the assault, but then said it would do so once it was edited by a third party to protect identities.
No charges were filed in the matter, however Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco said she requested police reopen the investigation, implying that Taye’s death could possibly be ruled a homicide as a result of the bullying suffered. She’s since made the decision to review all new information in relation to the Taye’s death and asked authorities to treat the matter “as a homicide” until it’s proven otherwise.
“There’s enough information here that we would like to reopen the case to look at whether we need to amend the death certificate,” Sammarco said on May 11 on WLW Radio. “It was very hard for me to believe that an 8-year-old would even know what it means to commit suicide and so I asked Cincinnati police to treat this as a homicide until proven otherwise and investigate it fully.”
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