Orange County, FL — School resource officers in Florida always seem to be in the news for abusing or otherwise causing grave harm to the children they are allegedly sworn to protect. In case after infuriating case we’ve seen Florida cops cower behind a wall while children were murdered in a school to sexually assaulting the children they are tasked with protecting, to beating up small girls and even handcuffing and arresting 6-year-old children. Most of these incidents go unpunished. However, in a rare excepting, a cop has been charged after he was captured on video grabbing a child by her hair and throwing her around.
Orange county deputy Harry Reid was fired in November after disturbing video captured him grabbing a middle school student by the hair and throwing her around like a rag doll. This week, it was announced that Reid was officially charged with battery for his actions against the child.
The victim’s aunt. Frances Jasmin told Channel 9 investigative reporter Daralene Jones that the family was glad to find out the charged had been filed.
“She was afraid to go to school. She is afraid to talk to people. She was like hiding. She has a fear behind her head that anything can happen to them, until now,” her aunt said.
The State Attorney’s Office released the following statement regarding the charges:
“On January 30, 2020, our office did in fact file an Information charging Harry Reid, the former Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy accused of pulling a girl by the hair, with one count of Battery. This is an open and active investigation which limits our ability to comment any further.”
As the video shows, Reid is seen whipping out his baton and threatening the bystanders who were all pleading with him to stop abusing the small girl and let go of her hair.
“Stupid little children!” the raging deputy screams at the students.
In the video, another deputy appeared to be breaking up an argument between several students. The deputy whose body camera was filming the incident was calm and trying to de-escalate the situation. The girl was visibly frantic but the deputy was attempting to calm her down.
“What’s going on?” the deputy asks. “You’re acting wild, come over here. Relax. Sit down.”
“Just breathe. Calm down,” the deputy says as the girl screams.
However, before she could calm down, deputy Reid inserts himself into the scene and proceeds to manhandle the small child, one-third his size, grabbing her hair.
During a press conference in November, Sheriff John Mina did not mince words when he said there was “no doubt in my mind” that the deputy acted excessively. The sheriff explained that there was no reason for the deputy to put his hands on the girl. The video backs up this claim.
“I want… the residents of Orange County to know this: That deputy’s behavior and actions violated many policies, our standards — but, more importantly, the vision and expectations that I have set as sheriff and definitely will not be tolerated, and I want our deputy sheriffs to know that as well,” Mina said.
“To me it looked like he lost control and his actions were totally inappropriate,” Mina said. He added that he was “extremely upset, disappointed and outraged” by the deputy’s conduct.
This week, we find out that he followed through with his statements.
“This is, I think, an important step forward, and a precedent for the Orlando community and Central Florida community, in that the state is not going to tolerate excessive force and any abuse of force, against the citizens and especially our vulnerable children in schools,” Edmond’s family attorney, Ryan Fletcher, said.