Video Shows Baltimore School Police Hitting Boy

Three members of the school police department, including the police chief, have been placed on administrative leave.
Published: March 3, 2016

Three members of the Baltimore school police force have been placed on administrative leave following the circulation of a video showing an officer slapping a student-aged person at a school.

City police have launched a criminal investigation into the incident, which was filmed by a student on March 1, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The brief video shows an unidentified officer repeatedly slapping a person who may be a student and cursing at him on stairs outside of REACH Partnership School in east Baltimore. The footage shows another officer watching the attack.

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Baltimore City School Police Chief Marshall Goodwin and the two officers in the video are awaiting the results of an internal investigation as others call for the Department of Justice to open an investigation.

Acting School Police Chief Akil Hamm said the two officers in the video were responding to a report of two young intruders in the school that threatened school security. Hamm said the officers located the two young men and, after determining they weren’t students, removed them from the building.

That story conflicts with claims made by the student who filmed the video, who says the victim is his classmate at the high school. Additionally, an attorney claiming to represent the victim in the video says her client is in fact a 16-year-old student at the school. The attorney claims her client was treated at a local hospital for face and rib injuries following the attack.

Baltimore police have asked for the community’s help identifying the victim. The department’s Special Investigation Response Team is handling the investigation.

“This type of behavior is not indicative of our schools’ police officers,” Karl Perry, the district’s chief schools support officer, said. “This is unacceptable. It’s not behavior that will ever be tolerated by any city employee.”

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Last year the city’s school police department came under fire when a school police officer pleaded guilty to second degree assault following an altercation with three female students at a local middle school. That incident was also caught on film.

A director of the Education and Youth Development program in Baltimore demanded better training for school police in de-escalation and conflict resolution tactics.

Last month an NAACP official called on the Department of Justice, which is already investigating the Baltimore Police Department, to expand its investigation to include the school police department. A student activist who’s worked with the district supported that demand. The NAACP officials also called for more oversight and transparency from the department.

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