Some people say that what one police officer did to a high school student was way over the line. Police, however, say that he was just doing his job. See the footage for yourself and decide.
Video of a police officer from La Mesa, California, who allegedly slammed a Helix Charter High School student to the ground, sparked outrage among the community with many locals calling for the officer’s removal after seeing footage of the incident, according to KTLA.
The interaction between the student and the officer, which was captured in a 30-second video. The clip shows only part of what happened, but that didn’t stop viewers from sharing the footage widely on social media as they sounded off with their opinion on the matter.
Officers were initially called to Helix Charter High School when a 17-year-old student, who had been suspended, refused to leave campus. The girl was reportedly high on drugs, and when a teacher searched her bag, pepper spray was found. Pepper spray is not allowed on campus, as it is considered a weapon.
A school resource officer attempted to make the suspended girl leave campus on her own, but she refused to comply and would not cooperate. That’s when the officer, seen in the video, handcuffed her and began escorting her to the school’s office.
“As they were walking, the student became noncompliant on two separate occasions and made an attempt to free herself by pulling away from the officer,” explained Walt Vasquez, chief of the La Mesa police, in a statement after the incident. “To prevent the student from escaping, the officer forced the student to the ground,” he added.
Police said the student suffered minor abrasions because of the incident. However, she was evaluated by paramedics at the police station, where it was determined that she didn’t require any treatment for her injuries. Investigators are reviewing the incident with the help of the footage which was captured and can be seen below.
“As a protocol with all incidents involving [the] use of force, the La Mesa Police Department will be conducting a detailed review of the force used and of the entire incident. Helix Charter High School officials are also fully aware of the facts surrounding the incident,” said Chief Vasquez, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The female student in this footage is no angel — she was suspended from Helix Charter High School and then refused to leave campus, all while high on drugs — it’s not as if we are dealing with a model citizen here. Furthermore, the footage of her arrest only includes a brief clip. The moments leading up to the officer’s takedown are not shown, leading the viewer to speculate as to what happened before cameras started rolling.
When these sorts of situations are taken out of context, it usually leads to assumptions which are damaging to the reputation of one of the parties involved. The best thing to do in this instance is to allow authorities to do their jobs, conducting an investigation internally. No good will come of jumping to conclusions or making rash judgments.