The family of a Black Florida teenager who is seen on video allegedly being body-slammed by a school resource officer has retained civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump. He will represent them as they attempt to find out why the officer handled their daughter in such a manner.
“It is unconscionable what happened to this young girl at the hands of someone whose primary duty is to serve and protect our children,” said Crump in a statement. “Students, especially minorities, have a difficult enough time feeling safe in our schools. Do we really need to add school resource officers to the list of fears they deal with on a daily basis?”
He called for the officer to be fired and arrested.
RELATED: Florida Cop Slams Black Student To Ground Knocking Her Unconscious
The unidentified girl was knocked unconscious in the Jan. 26 incident at Liberty High School in Osceola, Florida, which was captured on video by a fellow student. The footage shows a young woman with her hands behind her back as the officer slams her to the ground. Viewers can hear a loud thump as the girl’s head slams the concrete.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement the officer “was in the process of trying to stop the student from fighting another student in the hallway when the deputy took her into custody.”
The person taking the video also remarked that this was not the first time violence from adults toward students has taken place at the school.
“This is liberty high school in Osceola county and I’ve seen my share of body slams from that school not only by officers but from deans as well,” the user tweeted. “I’ve seen grown a** [men] hop on top of girls to hold them down while they are clearly in distress.”
The officer, identified by Florida station WKMG as Deputy Ethan Fournier, has been placed on administrative leave. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident, the station reported. Osceola County School District spokeswoman Dana Schafer told the Orlando Sentinel that paramedics were called, but the girl’s condition was not released. Sheriff Marco López told the newspaper that he had been in contact with her parents and said she “is fine.”