Video captures girl body-slammed by school police in Texas

School officials promised a full investigation into the ‘disturbing’ incident after an officer restrained Janissa Valdez, 12, before taking her to the ground

Video of a 12-year-old student being body-slammed to the ground by a San Antonio school police officer has ignited anger among advocates calling for an end to police presence in schools.

The video, taken on 29 March, shows the officer restraining Janissa Valdez before taking her to the ground with a thud. “She landed on her face,” one nearby student exclaims.

“This video demonstrates the urgent need to take action to remove police officers from our schools,” said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project. “It is unconscionable for a 12-year-old student involved in a verbal altercation to be brutalized and dehumanized in this manner.”

School officials called the video “very disturbing” and promised a full investigation in a statement late on Wednesday. The officer was not identified by the district but has been identified as Joshua Kehm in media reports. He has been placed on paid leave pending the results of the investigation.

“I just want something done,” Gloria Valdez, Janissa’s mother, told the San Antonio Express News. “Because he could go back and do it again to my daughter or another student.”

Before the officer takes her to the ground, students can be heard yelling “Janissa chill, chill” on the video. Gloria Valdez said Janissa had been involved in other fights with the unidentified second girl seen in the video.

After she is slammed down, the officer handcuffs Janissa and walks her away. Gloria Valdez said her daughter had some swelling on her face after the incident, but it has since improved.

The district did not have any further comment on Thursday afternoon.


Jamiles Lartey

The GuardianTramp

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