Supporters for a 64-year-old black music teacher have raised over $140,000 for the Los Angeles man who was jailed for viciously beating a student who hurled racial slurs and threw a basketball at him.
Marston Riley was arrested Friday after a racially charged brawl broke out between him and a 14-year-old student. The fight was captured on video.
According to KTLA 5, the fight began after Riley asked a student to leave his classroom because the teen wasn’t dressed in proper school uniform. The student allegedly refused to leave and proceed to call the teacher the N-word on multiple occasions before throwing a basketball at him. Video shows the teacher using a cellphone to apparently request for assistance before the altercation broke out.
Video obtained by the news outlet shows Riley allegedly landing several punches to the student’s head and face before other classmates and a school official attempt to break up the fight.
“We are extremely disturbed by the reports of the events that occurred at Maywood Academy High School,” the school district said in a statement. “We take this matter very seriously and do not condone violence or intolerance of any kind. Los Angeles Unified is cooperating with law enforcement in investigating this incident.”
Riley was taken into police custody following the altercation and released on a bond after being arrested for suspected child abuse. The student was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries, KTLA 5 reported.
Several students told local CBS News they were concerned for their teacher and supported his actions.
“The racial slurs from that kid, that kid was just being very disrespectful,” a student said.
A GoFundMe page was set up on the music teacher’s behalf to “lessen any burdens that Mr. Riley may endure during this process.”
The fundraiser had a goal of US$50,000 and by noon Wednesday, it had raised over US$140,000.