BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks released the following statement after the video surfaced of a school resource officer violently taking down a young teenage girl in her Columbia, S.C. classroom:
“The video we have seen of a school resource officer violently flipping, tossing and thereafter banging the head of a young girl in her South Carolina classroom is offensive. The videos shot by students display in morally vulgar vividness an unacceptable level of brutality and misuse of force. This type of brutality deserves no place in modern policing – it is even more outrageous that it would occur in a high school classroom. This young student may have broken school rules, but there is nothing that indicates she broke any criminal laws or was a physical threat to anyone at the level that would require this officer to treat her like a violent criminal. This is yet another example of the misuse of force and the exceedingly disproportionate contact of resource officers with young minority students.
“This officer’s actions in front of a room full of young teenagers will no doubt have a devastating impact emotionally on the young victim and her classmates. It is our hope that these students are provided with counseling after witnessing and experiencing such a violent encounter. Those who provide security in our schools should only hold those positions after rigorous and thorough training, education and strict oversight. It is even more disturbing that the guidance crafted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education on the use of Resource Officers in our Nation’s schools have clearly not been implemented in this public high school.
“This is also a clear indication that the shifts in resource and spending by school districts have created an over-reliance on armed police instead of educated and trained school administrators. It is unfortunate that our school principals and vice principals, the traditional administrators of discipline, have been put in a position to rely on street policing inside our school classrooms rather than administering tried and true education discipline tactics. There is no acceptable explanation for this officer’s treatment of this young student. The NAACP applauds federal officials on their announcement of a full investigation and demands that this officer be terminated and never again employed in a position where he has any law enforcement encounter responsibility with the public.”