In 'Haunting' Video, Nex Benedict Describes Fight

Non-binary Oklahoma teen died the next day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2024 1:43 PM CST

In video released by the Owasso Police Department, Nex Benedict, the non-binary Oklahoma teenager who collapsed and died the day after a fight in a high school bathroom, told police they had blacked out after being beaten by girls who had been bullying them. The 16-year-old, speaking from a hospital bed, told the officer three girls had been picking on them and their friends because of how they dressed. In the bathroom, the girls "said something like, 'Why do they laugh like that?' And they were talking about us in front of us." Nex said they poured water on the girls in response, and three of them "jumped" the teen, CNN reports. "They got my legs out from under me and got me on the ground and started beating the s--- out of me," they said.

In surveillance video from Owasso High School, Nex appears to sway at one point while walking to the school nurse's office with a school security officer, NBC News reports. In the police video, Sue Benedict, Nex's grandmother and guardian, told the officer she was angry that the school hadn't called the police. The officer told Nex and Sue Benedict that they could file a police report for assault and battery, but throwing water could also be considered assault. "The courts are going to look at it as it's a mutual fight," he said. Sue Benedict decided against seeking charges at the time.

In a 911 call the next day, Sue Benedict said Nex was "not doing good at all." She said Nex's breathing was shallow and they were having headaches. She said she wasn't sure if Nex's condition was the result of a head injury from the fight. Police have said the investigation is ongoing but preliminary results suggest Nex did not die from trauma, the New York Times reports. Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of the GLAAD advocacy group, said it was " haunting" to hear Nex "describe how school and state leaders failed, at every level of leadership, to keep them safe from bullying and harm," NBC reports. Eliis said the videos and 911 audio "all point to a clear and catastrophic cascade of failures." (More school assault stories.)

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