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BALTIMORE (AP) — Two officers who police Baltimore’s public schools walked out of jail Wednesday pending trial for assault and misconduct after their violent confrontation with a student was recorded by another teenager.

Both have checkered records, prompting parents and authorities alike to question whether enough is being done to prevent violent people from being hired to keep schoolchildren peaceful and safe.

Police said Wednesday that Saverna Bias allegedly told her fellow officer, Anthony Spence, to use force against the teen. According to a witness, she said, “You need to smack him because he’s got too much mouth,” police said. The video shows Spence shouting profanities as he repeatedly slaps and kicks the boy, telling him to leave the school and go home.

Spence was not trying to arrest the 10th grader, neither was he acting in reasonable self-defense, city police said.

At a packed school board meeting Tuesday night, some parents and principals implored officials to keep officers in the schools for everyone’s safety. Students and their advocates countered that having armed police with insufficient oversight in schools can be damaging and dangerous.

Tim Martin, an administrator at the New Hope Academy, said he understands the frustration, but believes most officers show enough patience to “therapeutically de-escalate students in crisis and help school personnel maintain a safe school environment.”

Students from the activist group City Bloc also spoke up, saying that school police officers can make some students feel unsafe, threatening them with the message that “the world sees them as inherently violent and incapable of success.”

“We are not enemies or punching bags,” a City College student said, reading the City Bloc statement.

“Students shouldn’t be criminalized. We need to learn in an environment where we don’t feel threatened by school police officers. This kind of brutalization of students shouldn’t ever be tolerated. Students at every school should be treated with respect, and as humans who sometimes make mistakes, not as people who deserve to be thrown into prison or assaulted,” the statement said.

Spence, 44, and Bias, 53, turned themselves in Tuesday night and were released on bond on charges of second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Spence also is charged with second-degree child abuse. Both officers have been suspended, and Spence is being denied pay, since he faces a felony.

Baltimore School Police Chief Marshall Goodwin, whose department is separate from the city’s police force, also went on leave, for “personal reasons,” as the video began circulating a day after the March 1 confrontation. A week later, as city police and prosecutors continue investigating, Baltimore City Schools CEO Gregory Thornton has refused to explain his absence.

The criminal case is now in the hands of the public integrity unit of the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office. The school police department also is conducting an internal investigation.

The video, meanwhile, has put Thornton under pressure to re-evaluate the officers’ hiring and training, which some say is far too lax.

“I was surprised, to be candid. I was appalled, I was disappointed; it really cut right to who I am as a person,” Thornton said at a news conference.

“I’m charged to take care of our children, and certainly we have some folks who were doing things that were inappropriate. Every emotion went through me, from outrage to disappointment,” he said.

Attempts to reach Spence and Bias or their attorneys on Wednesday were not successful.

Spence told The Associated Press in a phone conversation on Friday that would not discuss the criminal investigation because he believes the news media would “twist” the story.

“Right now, I’m the bad guy,” he said, referring questions to his lawyer, Michael Davey, who didn’t immediately respond to the AP.

Thornton insisted that this was an isolated incident, but said it has prompted a comprehensive review of the entire police force.

“We’ve used it as an opportunity to go into our whole organization and begin to talk about things: How do we hire, how do we train, look at background checks,” he said.

Court records show that in 2011, another Baltimore School Police officer accused Spence of grabbing her, striking her in the face and preventing her from driving away. The officer later dropped her request for a protective order against him.

Bias was charged with second-degree assault that same year, for throwing a bottle of alcohol at a man she was breaking up with. The man did not press charges and that case was shelved.

Spence was fired from the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office in 2002 after he was involved in the violent arrest of a man the officers falsely identified as a robbery suspect. Goodwin would have known this — he was a sheriff’s spokesman at the time.

Spence also serves as the vice president of Sentinel Protection Agency, a private security firm, under chief executive Clyde Boatwright, who was fired along with Spence. Boatright now doubles as president of the Baltimore School Police union.

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15 thoughts on “Baltimore School Officers Arrested For Assaulting Teenager [VIDEO]

  1. Law enforcement officers are trained to desculate the situation once the subject is under the control. Clearly this boy was not resisting or fighting him. Therefore not a threat. He is an ignorant bully and should be in jail. If the officer was white everyone would be marching and having rallies.

  2. I wouldn’t care if this young man was mummy obscenities under his breath which would have to be the case because we heard the sound of the slap but not the kid’s voice. This kid Never gave this poor excuse for a man a reason to physically attack him. He and everyone who thinks like him should be removed from schools and evaluated for their ability to serve as officers in any municipality. This was ego and bravado NOTHING ELSE real men don’t throw young girls across rooms or kick and slap teenage boys not attacking them because “they said something “

    • Larry on said:

      We don’t know what transpired before the video, but most assuredly, the punk said or did something. But the short video fits what you want to believe, so it is now fact.
      Come on Peeps

    • Larry on said:

      …and what the fock are “mummy obscenities”? Someone should have flexed on you in school.
      -Holla’ at the Scholar

  3. specialt757 on said:

    I hear you Kates1221, unfortunately, I still do have one in HS. They have a resource officer at the HS, I see the patrol car every time I’m there. Strangely enough, I’ve not heard of any incident involving a teen being kicked, or slapped, or punched by any of them. I don’t live in the hood and her school is one of the best in the whole state, but I think kids are a product of their environment. This HS doesn’t play, one fight, expelled, no 3 day suspension, incidents are handled with the quickness and I haven’t heard of any escalation. They send the rules home on the first day of every school year and they are clearly defined.
    Clearly there is a need for resource officers, especially in today’s climate. I’ve been around enough disrespectful teens to know, give them an inch, they take a mile. And the parents are no better. They are only involved when they can show their asses, instead of teaching home training, they leave that to the schools and bad behavior is the result. And of course we don’t know what this kid did prior to the video, but really…is kicking and slapping the answer? I don’t think so. We’re the adults, surely we can find a better way, start by kicking their asses out and making the parents pay for an alternative school, but no school is not an option. If they refuse, fined them, put liens on their homes, kick them out of public housing, etc…

  4. It’s a catch 22. If you don’t have officers in schools, the teachers will need homicide insurance, and if you put Ceasar and this sheboon on campus to keep order, the kids need homicide insurance. I’m just happy I don’t have kids in school.

  5. Well? Considering how disrespectful teens are these days? I’d like to hear the officers side because I see 1000’s of those little bastard’s who need’s the shit kicked out of them with their disgraceful/disrespectful ass’s. I have no doubt this kid’s mama/family will crawl out and over the walls of the hood and if know mama? She’ll come with baby pictures and all? I’m sorry folk’s but I see kid’s acting out and being disrespectful to all authority and some towards their own parent(s). So I’d need to see what lead up to the officers smacking the piss out of his young ass! Just maybe through the grace of god that ass whipping just might save that young teen’s life! He’ll think twice before not respecting authority of any kind!

    • Larry on said:

      Toni, the full story is never required, or even wanted here at BAW. The sheep prefer to form what they believe to be their own opinion based off a slanted one sided story. Hands up brother.
      Holla’ at the Scholar

  6. Graham on said:

    AS a parent, I would have to take this outside on the playground, and im going to slap him, kick him and her, and then both can go home..

  7. Linda on said:

    These two POS need to be fired!!!!!

    Whether it is public school security officers or regular PIGS all this shit needs to stop!
    Whatever happened to resolving issues-particularly where young adults are concerned in a reasonable, non-violent manner?????

    Why did these two have to use profanity and put their hands on someone else’s child?

    While I do understand that SOME OF today’s kids do lack good home training and discipline-
    resorting to this is never good.

    In addition, maybe the Baltimore school district needs to consider doing serious background checks on potential employees–that way they can weed out douchebags like these!!!!!

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