Officer Slam 1: The Incident


image dailymail.co.uk

image dailymail.co.uk

Two days ago a sixteen-year-old girl at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was using her phone in class. The teacher wanted to take the phone from her. She refused. The teacher then asked her to leave the classroom and go to the principal’s office. Or, rather,–I’m guessing–he ordered her. She refused. The teacher called the assistant principal, who then told her to leave the classroom. She refused. So the assistant principal sicced the cop–excuse me, I mean the School Resource Officer–on her.

The SRO came and told her to get up. And she refused. Because,–I speculate–being a teenager and therefore not sufficiently experienced in these things, she had asserted her sense of individuality and her determination to make her own rules and who knows what else, without realizing that she was working herself into a corner. And now here she was, this sixteen-year-old black girl, looking up at a white, weightlifting pitbull of a cop, the tension palpable in the room as her classmates looked on.  So she couldn’t get up. Not without losing face.

The cop then put his arm around the girl’s neck and slammed her backwards on the floor, seat and all. He then grabbed her by some random limbs and threw her several feet in the general direction of the door–during which time she somehow got disconnected from her seat–before putting her in handcuffs. The (white) student closest to her seems unaffected as far as one can tell from his body language, but the other students are flinching and visibly want to disappear from sight.

Yes, a few students managed to record the incident on their phones and the moment is being played on the news over and over again. The whole thing is horrifying to watch, here on my couch in Austin, six states away. To imagine how scared these kids must have been is almost too much.

The girl was led away and arrested for “disturbing schools” and for not cooperating with an officer of the law. One of the students who filmed the attack apparently also spoke up in her defense, which got her arrested as well, also for “disturbing schools”. The first girl could potentially get a $1,000 fine or nine months in prison. I don’t know about the second girl. According to the local sheriff it’s up to the prosecutor.

So that’s the situation. It’s wrong on so many levels that I’m going to spend several posts on it, but I felt I had to set it up first for non-American readers who may not have heard about this–although I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the footage “of this great nation’s” education system at work is splashed all over the news across the world.

4 responses to “Officer Slam 1: The Incident

  1. Actually I would imagine that this girl wasn’t scared at all which is why she refused to obey. I think people need to see the “whole video” and not just the snippet where the cop takes her out of the classroom. The whole video would share how kids are learning to disobey the law and in turn are now given the lesson they can get cops fired.

    Like

    • Barbara Backer-Gray

      Thanks for the comment. I won’t respond to it just now, because I’ll get to everything you bring up in the next few posts. I’ll just say here that I couldn’t disagree with you more, so if you want to know why, stay tuned.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What can I say!
    First I didn’t take in account that for instance this started out as typical teenager behaviour with a competent teacher could have defused there and then. Than I am just shocked about how this is handled. Wrong on so many levels. In fact it doesn’t say anything negative about the teenager, she behaves like teenager sometimes do; testing how far they can go.
    What it proves is the inability of the teacher, the school as a whole and the police to deal these small conflicts. How will a teenager learn to deal with conflicts if their environment’s reaction on her behaviour is so over, over, over……, don’t even have an English word for it.

    That a policeman is called, and treat the girl as a serious criminal.
    I really shake my head and wonder why this happens in a country which still prides itself to be nr. 1.

    I won’t tell you Dutch police is perfect because they aren’t!
    Neither will I tell you our education system is perfect because it isn’t.
    But that something happens like in your post is unheard of!

    I also can’t ignore the thought: What if this girl would ha been white. Would the incident been treated the same? I wonder!

    Liked by 1 person

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