It just goes to show how different a police officer’s perspective on how something actually went down can be from the rest of us. Take this latest incident, where a school resource officer was called to the campus of Helix Charter High School near San Diego around 1:30 p.m. on Friday because a student that was on “suspension status” wouldn’t leave the campus.
The officer is said to have come in and made an attempt to get the student to leave voluntarily, and when she did not, he forced the (already handcuffed) 17-year-old, to the ground.
A statement by La Mesa Chief of Police, Walt Vasquez, reads, “As they were walking, the student became non-compliant on two separate occasions and made an attempt to free herself by pulling away from the officer,” Vasquez said.
However, the video (scroll down) obviously missed that part.
“To prevent the student from escaping, the officer forced the student to the ground.”
A 30-second-video of the incident, captured by the student’s brother who placed it on Facebook, captured the officer body slamming the girl to the ground, and then putting his body weight on her.
While the video doesn’t show what led up to the incident, and it doesn’t really matter at this point, anyway — it’s more than disturbing to see a male officer taking such forceful actions against an unarmed teen girl.
Needless to say, the Internet went nuts once folks got wind of the video.
To add further insult to injury, the statement by the La Mesa Police Dept. says the girl only suffered minor abrasions.
This is where the Internet is truly useful. Had there been no video, the public would only have the words of the police department to go by.
Yes, there is a backstory about what led up to the issues this student faced on campus, and you can read it here. However, no issue that involves an unarmed student deserves this kind of brutality, and that is what this article is about.
UPDATE: At 8 am this morning, students at Helix Charter High School staged a walk-out to protest police brutality.
Hundreds of them.
…and it worked. The cop is gone!
According to KPBS…
The officer shown in the video body slamming a Helix High School student to the ground, will no longer work on school campuses, according to a La Mesa Police Department spokesman.
The officer has been reassigned to Investigations. The spokesman also said the review of the incident is the department’s number one priority and it hopes to have results in 30 days.
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