Amy Inita Joyner-Francis, 16, was brutally beaten and killed by a group of girls in a bathroom at the Howard High School of Technology in Delaware last week. It’s believed the teen was jumped by the girls in a dispute over a boy.
Wilmington police are investigating the incident and think the attack may have been filmed by one or more of Amy’s attackers, the Daily Mail Reports. The video shows the 16-year-old being forced to her knees by a girl holding her by the hair. Amy’s head was then slammed against one of the bathroom sinks, resulting in fatal injuries. The teen was transported by helicopter to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
The release of the horrific video has left Howard High School students and the Wilmington community in shock. Friends remember Amy as a quiet girl who focused on her studies. She is also said to have had a good influence on her peers.
Nik Stryminski, a friend of the teen, told the News-Journal that Amy had once prevented him from engaging in a fight. He and another student were about to come to blows, but Amy stepped in and calmed him down.
“She didn’t believe in fighting, and the craziest thing is she died in a fight,” Stryminski said.
A senior at Howard High School, Suleida Zayas, asserts that social media plays a large role in the desire for teens to video tape fights, according to The Inquisitr. She says fight videos are deemed as “cool” and students often try to “out do” one another by posting them online.
“Social media plays a big part in a lot of what’s going on nowadays,” Zayas said. “It’s cool to record a fight. It’s cool to be on social media because of a fight, and I think that’s where a lot of us mess up.”
Mayor Dennis Williams says the students responsible for Amy’s death now face the reality of spending a “considerable” amount of time behind bars and agrees that the punishment would be just.
“I’m a retired police officer. If the physical evidence shows that they are the perpetrators and a person loses their life, absolutely [they should spend substantial time in prison],” he said.
Williams, who has three daughters, also urged parents to step up and prevent such destructive behaviors. Recalling a personal struggle with one of his daughters, he said “I had a rebellious one. Oh yeah. But I won the battle by going toe-to-toe with her.”
The video of Amy’s death just adds to the trend of violent videos circulating on the internet. Parents of students at a suburban Chicago high school were outraged after videos of multiple fights were edited together and uploaded on social media. Video of a fight that occurred at a New Orleans high school also went viral, showing a staff member throwing a punch in an attempt to break up an altercation.
Wilmington police chief Bobby Cummings says charges are expected to be filed against the girls involved in the assault once Amy’s autopsy is complete. He told a crowd of about 100 people at a town hall meeting at Stubbs Elementary School that they should have some closure by the end of the week, according to the News Journal.
“We did not want to rush to judgment,” Cummings said. “We would rather take our time to conduct this investigation the proper way. Charges will be filed, and individuals will be held accountable for their actions.”