This video has been viewed more than 2.4 million times.
A Texas law enforcement officer has been fired after video surfaced that shows the policeman grabbing a 12-year-old student from behind and slamming her to the brick pavement face-first.
The San Antonio Independent School District’s superintendent said that 27-year-old district officer Joshua Kehm’s use of force at Rhodes Middle School on March 29 was “absolutely unwarranted.”
“Additionally, the officer’s report was inconsistent with the video and it was also delayed,” Pedro Martinez, the district’s superintendent, continued in a statement. He added, “We want to be clear that we will not tolerate this behavior.” Martinez said that the officer did not note the violence in his report.
The school district has referred the investigation “to a third-party law enforcement agency.”
The girl, sixth grader Janissa Valdez, was taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays.
She was released after suffering bruises and headaches.
The victim said she was speaking with another girl and that students gathered around at school thinking they were going to fight.
In the video, the officer next grabbed her from behind and slammed her to the ground.
The girl said she thought another student had grabbed her.
A student was filming the event and uploaded it to YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 2.4 million times.
School authorities learned of the incident after viewing it online.
After Valdez was thrown to the pavement, there was a collective “OH!” from the crowd of students.
“Janissa! Janissa, you OK?” one student asked. “She landed on her face,” another student said.
The officer, fired Monday, is seen in the tape handcuffing a stunned Valdez. He then picks her up and escorts her away from a crowd of students.
The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas said it would represent the fired officer in an appeal of his termination. “There’s two sides to every story,” Charley Wilkison, the group’s executive director, told The Associated Press. “We intend to fully, fully defend this officer and make sure that all of his rights are upheld.”
Blue Lives Matter also stood behind the officer, writing on the group’s Facebook page that “Officer Kehm was filmed subduing an irate and violent female student by taking her to the ground.
After a brief investigation Officer Kehm was given the opportunity to resign or be fired. He refused to resign, so the San Antonio Independent School District terminated him.”