Officer may have hit student in self-defense, attorney says

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (File) (Christian Petersen, Getty Images)
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (File) (Christian Petersen, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/24 1:19 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The attorney for a Northern California high school security officer, who was seen on surveillance footage repeatedly slapping a student in a wheelchair, said the student bears some of the responsibility for the incident.

Nabiel Ahmed, the attorney for 23-year-old Marchell Mitchell, said the student had a history of discipline problems and spit on and antagonized his client -- and that Mitchell may have acted in self-defense.

Ahmed spoke to reporters after a court hearing for Mitchell on Monday. Mitchell has pleaded not guilty to a charge of corporal injury to a child.

The May 19 attack at Oakland High School was caught on surveillance footage that shows Mitchell striking the student three times before pushing him to the ground. The student, who has cerebral palsy was handcuffed at the time.

A second video shows Mitchell kicking the student at an earlier time.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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