A recent incident at a Texas middle school brings the disturbing reality to light that youth of color are not exempt from police brutality.
Video footage surfaced of a campus police officer at Ed Rawlinson Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, slamming a sixth-grade black boy to the ground after breaking up a fight between him and another student, local ABC affiliate KSAT 12 reports.
"Oh, my gosh. It's just like my heart just sank because I've seen that cop here before. And knowing that he actually has done that to a child, I'm, like, 'No, that's just wrong,'" said Myra Yebra, whose son is a seventh-grader at Rawlinson.
The clip shows the Northside Independent School District (NISD) officer grab the boy and throw him face down on the ground before yanking him up by his shirt and walking him away. Meanwhile, the other boy involved in the fight — who was white — was left untouched.
WARNING: Video contains graphic content that may be disturbing to some viewers.
"I mean, that was uncalled for," said Kim Arroyos, a parent of another student at Rawlinson. "He didn't have to slam him on the ground."
The officer has since been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation by the NISD Police Department and human resources. Child Protective Services has also reportedly been made aware of the incident.
According to district spokesman Barry Perez, the unnamed officer has had no other disciplinary issues since he started with NISD more than a decade ago.
Obviously, this officer needed to break up the altercation, and the use of physical intervention is expected in this situation; however, the body slam on the pavement took things entirely too far.
Additionally, while he may not have been able to grab both kids at the same time, what made him choose the black child to snatch so aggressively instead of the white one?
No, this question isn’t a draw of the “race card,” it’s a very real and honest inquiry that should be addressed as we frequently see racial disparity play out in so many police brutality incidents involving people of color.
Did the officer automatically assume that the black child was the aggressor in the fight? If so, what are the factors that made him jump to such a conclusion?
The investigation into the matter is ongoing and the truth will eventually come to light, but regardless of what exactly led to the cringe-worthy moment that was captured on video, a grown man exerting that amount of force on a sixth-grader is completely and utterly unacceptable.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, The All-Nite Images