An officer body-slams a girl in a viral video that has been making its way around the internet. The video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday and shows a Texas school police officer throwing a middle school student to the ground. Reports say the 12-year-old girl had been fighting with another girl when the officer stepped in to break it up.
The short video clip, uploaded by YouTube user Ghost-0, opens with the school officer struggling with the female student. Not more than one or two seconds into the 30-second video, the officer lifts the student off the floor and violently throws her to the concrete. After the officer body-slams the girl, she appears to have briefly lost consciousness.
Gloria Valdez, the mother of the 6th-grade student, confirmed to KENS 5 on Thursday that her daughter had indeed been knocked out.
“It was bruised because of where she hit on the cement,” according to Valdez, speaking of a bruise on her daughter’s face just above her right eye.
“She wasn’t moving. She was just knocked out. I wanted answers, and nobody could give me answers.”
“Who’s to tell that he could do it again to another student or do it to my daughter again,” Valdez went on to say in the interview.
Valdez said her daughter has been in fights before, but it’s not known what exactly happened before the camera started to roll.
In the viral video, a group of other Rhodes Middle School students can be heard and seen surrounding the officer and the student as she’s body-slammed to the ground. Witnesses say that Valdez’s daughter had been having a verbal argument with another girl just before the officer put his hands on her.
A crowd of other students surrounded the two girls as they continued to verbally argue. One of those students, who’s not been identified publicly other than by a YouTube username, took the video footage after the officer stepped in and then uploaded it to the popular video-sharing website. The video has since gone viral online with nearly 300,000 views in two days.
The person who shot the video identified the officer who body-slams the girl as Joshua Kehm. Valdez claims that Kehm and her daughter had had a good relationship prior to the March 29 incident. CBS News reports that Kehm felt threatened because the girl reportedly kicked him as he tried to break up the verbal confrontation that had become increasingly aggressive around 4 p.m. that afternoon at the west side campus of Rhodes Middle School, a technology and media charter school located in San Antonio, Texas.
“Supposedly he was threatened by her that she kicked him, but in the video her legs never went up. All he had to do is grab her and put her to the side,” said Valdez.
Kehm, who’s only been a police officer with the San Antonio Independent School District since February 2015, had previously served in the Air Force, according to his LinkedIn profile, which could explain the excessive and unnecessary force that Kehm used against the girl.
Leslie Price, a spokeswoman for the school district, said that the video is very concerning and that Kehm has been placed on paid leave pending an investigation to gather all of the details.
“We certainly want to understand what all occurred, and we are not going to tolerate excessive force in our district.”
Just after the officer body-slams the girl in the video, he handcuffs her and drags her to her feet. As Kehm leads her away, the girl appears to be dazed. Valdez notes that her daughter doesn’t even remember being arrested. Valdez says that she wants justice for her daughter but also hopes that something good will come out of it all.
Public opinion so far seems to be undecided. Some say that when a school officer body-slams a girl student, excessive force is used. However, other comments say that there must have been more to this incident than what the short video clip actually shows.
Kehm has yet to make a statement, but the female student, identified as Janissa Valdez, told News 4 out of San Antonio that before the officer body-slams her, she had just wanted to talk to the other girl. Janissa also said in the interview that Kehm’s actions were wrong because she wasn’t going to do anything.
“I was going up to her to tell her, ‘Let’s go somewhere else’ so we could talk, but that’s when the cop thought I was going at her.”
[Image via screenshot/Google Maps]