Authorities recently released a deplorable video of Florida police officer violently confronting a 13-year-old boy in the lobby of Kissimmee Middle School.
The school administration reportedly called in Officer Mario Badia on May 8 to diffuse the tension between the teenage student and his mother. However, instead of handling the altercation, the officer amped-up the situation by shoving and throwing the 84-pound student to the ground and twisting his arm.
“He came in with such a hostile manner, like he was ready for war,” student’s mother Alexis Richmond recalled. “There’s nothing I can do. I felt so helpless.”
Along with shattered trust in the police, the attack left the boy with a sprained ankle and wrist.
Investigators claim the entire confrontation was one-sided, and that the student did not provoke or resist the officer in any way.
As the video above clearly shows, Badia started yelling at the student when he came in and attempted to grab his chin to turn his face. When the student raised his hand to block the cop's hand, Badia pushed him backwards before grabbing his shirt and arm. He then proceeded to lift the young boy up and slammed him to the ground, “torquing” his arm behind his back for more than 40 seconds.
“The respect level that he used to have for police is not there as it should be,” the mother added. “Justice should be served. He should get time for what he did to my son.”
Badia, who has now been charged with child abuse and battery, was initially suspended for assaulting the student, and he reportedly earned more than $15,000 while on paid leave. He denied the charges against him in a court hearing in October, but now that the surveillance footage is out, there is not much room left for argument.
“The Kissimmee Police Department did not hesitate to relieve Officer Badia from duty upon viewing the video and opened a criminal and an internal investigation into the incident,” Kissimmee police spokesperson Stacie Miller said in a statement. “The internal investigation found that Officer Badia used improper conduct on duty and excessive force as it is related to our use of force policy. Officer Badia has been given notice of our intent to terminate his employment.”
Incidents of police brutality involving teenage students seem to be on an alarming rise in the United States. In times when tensions are already running high between the law enforcement officials and cop, recurring instances like these can turn into a full-blown dilemma.