Shocking video footage that shows a Baltimore school police officer repeatedly slapping and kicking a young man has sparked outrage among administrators at a local high school.
In the video captured on cellphone, the officer can be seen swearing at a young man before slapping the teenager’s face three times and kicking him against a wall.
A second officer can be seen in the video and makes no effort to intervene.
WJZ-TV, a CBS affiliate, reports that the unnamed officer and the chief of Baltimore City school police, Marshall Goodwin, have been placed on administrative leave following the incident.
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Administrators have not confirmed whether the victim is a student Reach Partnership High School, although the person who recorded the video says the young man does attend the school, according to WJZ.
While there is still little information about the violent exchange, school officials found the incident disturbing.
“I was totally appalled at what I saw today,” Karl Perry, chief officer of school supports, told WJZ. “I am a parent and I am totally appalled by what I saw in that video. No matter what the circumstances are, I am totally appalled.”
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The Baltimore Sun reports that Perry was appointed to the position last year after Baltimore’s school system was criticized for its “soft code of conduct.”
Nicole Joseph of the Coalition to Reform School Discipline is “encouraged” by the suspension of the officer and the chief but would like to see more accountability in the Baltimore school police, and more comprehensive training.
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“BSP officers must be trained in de-escalation techniques, conflict resolution, restorative approaches appropriate for children and young adults, and in dealing with students with disabilities,” she wrote in a statement.
“If police are going to be in our schools, they must be a positive, supportive force that creates safer environments for our children.”
A similar video from last October showed a South Carolina school police officer grabbing a female student around the neck, flipping her backwards and then throwing her across the classroom floor.
Critics have said the video illustrates how students are aggressively policed in schools across the United States.