Local mother organizes "Justice For Jacob" Protest

Published: Nov. 6, 2014 at 1:49 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2014 at 3:10 PM CST
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Amarillo, TX - Around 50 people gathered Wednesday for a protest outside of Sam Houston middle school in Amarillo.

This comes after a mother claims an officer used excessive force on her middle schooler because he was wearing a rosary.

"We are exercising our constitutional rights for freedom of religion in America and freedom of speech," says Pastor Shane Hessey.

14-year-old Jacob Herrera was arrested one week ago after officer Corporal Wilson asked him to remove or tuck in his rosary or to leave Sam Houston's middle school football game.

So at the protest, the people who participated wore rosaries around their neck. In the crowd was Jacob Herrera himself who was released from the Youth Center of High Plains on Friday.

Pastor Shane Hessey who helped organize the event, flew in from Nashville after seeing our story online to support the Herrera family. Pastor Hessey says this incident worries him. "We as Christians have lost our rights in America and are continuing to lose rights, there's no prayer in school. If we are not teaching our children about God and the love of God, what is the future?"

APD told NewsChannel 10 last week religion was not a factor when Herrera was asked to remove the rosary. It was because he was violating student dress code, wearing a rosary can possibly be affiliated with gangs. And as for the picture that has gone viral, the APD says Corporal Wilson did not use excessive force and was laying on the student because he resisted arrest.

At the protest, one student spoke out about her views on how the rosary should be treated in the first place. "As a devoted Catholic that goes to church every Sunday and sings in the choir, the significance of a rosary is not be worn, it is a sacred item that Catholics use to pray. We pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the mercies, these are specifically used just for praying," says Sarah Villarreal, student.

Wednesday's protest was a one time event. And eventually the Herrera family plans to put Jacob in private school.

For a look at the original story from October 30th, click on the link