A Texas school police officer is being investigated after he was filmed violently slamming a sixth grader onto the ground last month.
According to Daily Mail, 12-year-old Janissa Valdez said she was confronting another girl at Rhodes Middle School in San Antonio, Texas on March 29 after hearing the girl was spreading negative rumors about her. A crowd surrounded the pair, which Janissa said gave Officer Joshua Kehm the impression the two girls were about to fight.
Several witnesses told KSAT-TV Kehm tried to break up the confrontation peacefully, but the girls reportedly resisted. Janissa, however, denied physically responding to Kehm's attempts to separate them.
At some point during the argument, Kehm put his arms around Janissa and body-slammed her onto the concrete walkway face-first, according to what can be seen in the cell-phone footage.
Janissa's mother, Gloria Valdez, told CBS News her daughter was knocked unconscious by the slam.
She doesn't remember being arrested with handcuffs. [She's] bruised because of how she was hit on the cement.
Janissa was suspended for two days but has not returned to school due to the attention she believes the footage will likely attract from classmates.
Leslie Price, a spokeswoman for the San Antonio Independent School District, said Kehm has since been placed on paid leave.
Price also said,
We've launched a formal investigation both within our police department and also at the administrative level. We need to find out the details as to what occurred, but I can say that we will not tolerate excessive force in this district.
Janissa reportedly now has a large bruise on her right eye thanks to Kehm, who's worked for the school district since February 2015 and apparently previously served in the Air Force.
Citations: Shocking moment Texas school police officer is caught on camera body slamming 12-year-old girl face-first on to concrete (Daily Mail), Video shows SAISD officer slamming middle school girl to the ground (KSAT-TV), Video shows San Antonio school officer body-slamming girl (CBS News)