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Denver DA decline charges in school bus altercation caught on video

Posted at 11:52 AM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 19:43:59-04

DENVER — The Denver District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that it would not file criminal charges in a school bus altercation caught on video last month.

The incident occurred September 18 on a bus taking Denver Green School Northfield students home from school. Sometime during the route, the driver pulled over to address behavioral issues from students.

While the bus was stopped, some students began texting and calling parents, and a small group of adults quickly gathered, including Brandi Martin. The Denver mother climbed onto the bus and a physical altercation took place.

"What hurts me the most are the screams," Martin told Denver7 last week. "I can hear them in my dreams."

Martin was accused of assaulting a Denver Public School employee and arrested after the incident. The altercation was caught on video and shared widely on social media.

However, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann stated in the release announcing her decision not to file charges that the "incident escalated very quickly and was difficult and emotional for everyone involved."

"The DPS employees were in a difficult situation and believed they were handling matters as best they could," McCann's statement continued. "Ms. Martin was concerned about her child and took action that she believed was appropriate. Criminal charges are not warranted although I hope that the parties are able to move forward and recognize the respective positions of those involved."

In a release sent after the DA's announcement, Denver police stated it will continue to review the incident:

"We continue to provide supports to the school community and to our Transportation Team," the DPD release read. "This was a difficult and unfortunate situation, and we are continuing our review of the incident. It is important to emphasize that there are necessary safety procedures in place for bus transportation that expressly prohibit non-district staff from entering a school bus. In addition, it is essential that adults lead by example for our students and that issues are resolved peacefully through dialogue and without physical altercation."

Denver police said it has met with students and families who were on the bus. DPD officials will be meeting with Denver Public Schools Wednesday.

Martin's attorneys — Chad Oxman and Charles Crichton — released the following statement:

"We are pleased that the Denver District Attorney’s Office has decided not to file any charges against our client, Brandi Martin. As the video footage clearly shows, Ms. Martin was simply trying to help her child get off the bus when she was confronted by the DPS employees on the school bus. Although the criminal charges have been dismissed, Ms. Martin is still dealing with the physical and emotional ramifications of this unfortunate and unnecessary incident. We look forward to hearing more from DPS about this incident and how to prevent any DPS children or parents from being placed in this situation again."