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. Another one of these incident unfolded last week as an officer was captured on video grabbing a child by her hair and throwing her around.
Orange county deputy Harry Reid has been fired this week after disturbing video captured him grabbing a middle school student by the hair and throwing her around like a rag doll. He is also 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.
As the video shows, 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 middle school student 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 on Friday, Sheriff John Mina 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.
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Mina noted that an internal investigation is underway which will be forwarded to the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office “to see if criminal charges are warranted” for the hair pulling.
“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.
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 above illustrates, this is no longer the case. Now, armed police officers rush in, begin manhandling girls and pulling hair.
Sadly, as schools across the country rely more and more on police to force student compliance, instead of training and common sense, this scenario becomes more common.
In a single week, TFTP reported on two other instances of school police caught on video violently attacking children.
In one video, a massive deputy grabs a 16-year-old boy by the neck and sprays him directly in the face with pepper spray. The boy was not the one fighting.
In another video, another massive deputy grabs another 16-year-old boy and body slams him to the ground like a rag doll. The incident was so overwhelmingly disturbing that the school had to be placed on lockdown after students began to revolt.
Something has to change.