Officer body slams girl
According to several media reports Thrusday, a San Antonio school police officer has been put on paid administrative leave after a video of him body-slamming a 12-year-old onto her face surfaced online.
The 33-second clip – which was posted on YouTube this week – shows Officer Joshua Kehm lifting a girl into the air before throwing her onto the concrete walkway at Rhodes Middle School in Texas.
A uniformed Kehm is then seen pulling the girl, identified as sixth-grader Janissa Valdez, to her feet and leading her away. Other students repeatedly ask her if she’s OK and one girl is heard saying: ‘She landed on her face.’
The clip, posted online on Tuesday, has since attracted more than 16,000 views.
Janissa’s mother Gloria Valdez said her daughter was suspended for two days after the incident, which occurred on March 29 – but has yet to return to school, KSAT reports.
‘I was angry, because I still couldn’t believe that he had done that to her,’ Valdez told the station. ‘And then she told me, “Mom, I wasn’t fighting. Why would he do that?”’
Janissa says she had planned to meet another girl after school to talk after she heard rumors that the girl had talked about her behind her back.
But she says they had been planning to move elsewhere because the area was very crowded.
‘That’s when other people came over and the officer thought we were going to fight, so that’s whenever he came and did that,’ she told KSAT.
‘You could actually hear her head hit the concrete,’ he mother added. ‘That’s what hurt me the most – and it didn’t even seem like it bothered him.’
Janissa’s mother sent the video to a local blogger who uploaded it online.
‘I wanted answers and nobody could give me answers,’ she said, according to NBC News.
Although she said no fight ever broke out, she was suspended – and says the officer’s actions left her with a large bruise near her right eye.
Leslie Price, a spokesman for the San Antonio Independent School District, called the cell phone footage ‘disturbing’ and said the district was made aware of the clip earlier this week.
She said the officer was placed on leave and a formal investigation into the incident is now underway to determine if excessive force was used.
‘We want to make sure we understand what happened and we’re not going to tolerate any excessive force,’ she said.
She said Kehm, who has been with the school district since February last year, had responded after two students began arguing outside the school.
According to his now-deleted LinkedIn page, he was in the Air Force before joining the school district.
‘The video is very disturbing, and we have launched a formal investigation that is being conducted by both District police and administration,’ the district said in a statement.
Some students told KSAT that they had seen Kehm try to resolve the situation peacefully and said he was kicked a number of times – something Janissa denies.
When asked what one word she would tell Kehm if given the opportunity, Janissa said ‘wrong’.
‘Becayse I wasn’t even going to do anything,’ she added.
Officer body slams girl video