East Baton Rouge, LA — Video of a schoolyard fight in Baton Rouge highlights an increasing trend across America as schools transform from learning environments to modern day childhood prison yards. The increased police presence at schools is leading to an increase in excessive force against children.
Adolescent quarrels are a frequent occurrence. As hormones rush in, children attempt to assert control over their environment as well as other children and the result can often manifest into a fight.
In the past, if a fight were to break out at school, the teachers, and in some cases the students, would rush in to pull the students apart. However, as the video below illustrates, police now take a far more violent approach.
The East Baton Rouge sheriff’s office is defending the actions of their near-300lb deputy who was caught on video body slamming an 80-lb 7th-grade child.
The deputy was responding to two children fighting as they waited for the bus. Instead of simply pulling them apart, this deputy felt it necessary to go the extra step of lifting the boy into the air and slamming him to the concrete.
“He coulda’ broke his hip, his arm, or anything,” said the mother of the child. “He was involved in a fight and was wrong for fighting, but yes, the officer was wrong for taking and slamming him on the ground. That’s not the proper way to break up a fight.”
Casey Hicks, a spokeswoman for EBRSO, told WAFB deputies sometimes need to use force to neutralize such a situation. Hicks points out the video does not show what happened just before the deputy grabbed the student, according to WAFB.
“Rather than deploy a taser or pepper spray that may affect those around the subjects fighting, the deputy physically removed the juvenile. Had the deputy tried to physically restrain the juvenile while he was combative, he may have then been required to use additional force, which could have resulted in injury,” said Hicks.
Naturally, the police claim what happened before the video began rolling somehow justifies the deputy’s actions. However, unless the child had a weapon or was much larger and posed an actual threat, this cop’s actions were nothing short of excessive.
“They should’ve broke it up. They should’ve went and separated them and not just go tossing them about like they a bunch of rag dolls,” said the mom.
Sadly, excessive force against school children by police is becoming the norm in public schools across the country. Also, police officers are rarely held accountable for their actions against children.
As The Free Thought Project reported earlier this month, Officer Ruben De Los Santos was allowed to quietly escape accountability after video captured him body slam a small girl.
In January, Officer De Los Santos was captured on a high school student’s cell phone video slamming down a small teen half his size, Jasmin Darwin. According to witnesses and Darwin, she was trying to break up a fight between her sister and another student when Santos came up from behind her and smashed her into the ground.