The head of the Baltimore school police force and two other school police officers have been suspended after officials became aware of a video circulating online that showed an officer slapping, kicking, and cursing at a student on school grounds while the other officers looked on.
The video was posted online:
The video, filmed by a student at Reach Partnership High School in Baltimore, shows a young man standing with his back against a wall while being slapped and then kicked by a uniformed police officer, who also shouts "Go home" and "Get the fuck out of here."
The school district has not confirmed whether the person being attacked is a student at the school, but local news station WJZ reports that the student who filmed the incident told them the person is indeed a fellow student.
Baltimore City Schools Police Chief Marshall Goodwin and two other officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, but local outlets, including WBAL, report that the officers' names are not being released.
"We are waiting for the department to conduct a full and complete investigation," Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the school police union, told The Baltimore Sun.
The head of School Supports, Karl Perry, told WJZ he was "appalled" by the video. Perry, whose office is responsible for the deployment of school police, has said he believes in tougher behavioral enforcement at schools, ThinkProgress reports.
"There is a sense of lawlessness in many schools now because principals have been trained to turn the other cheek and accept any type of crime in our schools," Perry wrote in a letter to the school district leaders before his appointment last year. "What I am going to do…is return to zero-tolerance enforcement of my expectations for appropriate behaviors."
The incident comes a few months after a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was caught on another cellphone video grabbing a student and violently dragging her across the room.