School Resource Officers Seen Punching And Kicking Black Teenage Girl During Cafeteria Brawl
Of course, district officials are defending the officer's use of excessive force.
February 06, 2019 at 2:56 pm
A Pennsylvania high school is in hot water after a disturbing video showed school resource officers punching, kicking and grabbing the ponytail of a Black teenage girl in the school cafeteria.
The video was posted to Twitter by a user who goes by BabyDoll. She said she first saw the footage when a student at Hazleton Area High School posted it to her personal Facebook page. Per the user, the incident occurred on Monday in Hazelton's cafeteria. The video shows four older white officials subduing a female student who Heavy reports is just 15 years old.
this is Hazleton Area High School... 🤔 Twitter do your thing. pic.twitter.com/mk64frFwyv— B A B Y D O L L🦋 (@iamdejmilann) February 5, 2019
As the video continues, the officers are seen booting the teenager in the legs, grabbing her hair and pushing her head against the table over and over. As they continue restraining the student, bystanders are screaming at the officials to "let her go."
The incident has drawn plenty of criticism online, with several commending the students for coming to the victim's defense and standing up to the officers.
According to WBRE-TV, the episode began with a dispute between two female students in the school's commons. From there, it intensified into a "fever pitch of violence."
And good for all the kids who stood together to help. They showed more bravery than most adults in similar situations.— nikki (@TTLYNIK) February 5, 2019
Despite the video showing the four security personnel using excessive force on a minor, the district superintendent says there are "always two sides to every story” and is encouraging others to wait for all the details before expressing disapproval to the officers in question.
"It's really important for parents and students and community members to get both sides of those stories before going to social media," Superintendent Brian Uplinger's statement read.
District Chief of Police Ed Harry echoed the same sentiments and told WBRE-TV that viewers only witnessed a fraction of the actual melee. He defended the officer's use of excessive force on the unidentified girl.
"At that point, the officer had to get that under control immediately," Chief Harry said. "You can see from the snippet of vide there were hundreds of kids in the cafeteria and they were cheering her on yelling and cheering her on. They needed to deescalate that."
Per Newswatch 16, Superintendent Uplinger also revealed there were three separate brawls on Monday, resulting in the current suspension of four students as the investigation unfolds.
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