As the villain in one of Ian Fleming’s spy novels famously observed, “Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action.”
During a May 2 press conference, Pittsburgh civil rights attorney Todd Hollis said three recent incidents involving violent interactions between Churchill police, administrators for the Woodland Hills School District and Black students are neither happenstance nor coincidence.
“I’ve been saying that for years,” Hollis told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “There is a clear pattern of abuse, but not just abuse, also a mode of conduct that subverts the truth-seeking process.”
That pattern, Hollis said, is most recently exemplified by an April 3 surveillance video from the school lobby of Woodland Hills principal Kevin Murray. It shows the actions leading to 14-year-old Que’Chawn Wade being beaten by Churchill police officer Steve Shaulis to the point where he lost a tooth—which required a hospital visit to reattach it, and later, additional oral surgery.
Shaulis, at the time, was assigned to the school as a resource officer. He no longer is at the school pending the ongoing investigation.
The video, which has no sound, shows Shaulis and Wade talking about an alleged stolen cell phone. Wade then leaves to return to class. Shaulis follows Wade to the doorway and calls him a derogatory term, Hollis said, and Wade “responded in kind.” In the video, Shaulis grabs Wade and pulls him through the office lobby and into his office. There, Hollis said, Shaulis punched Wade and threw him across the room, before eventually handcuffing him.