BALTIMORE – The Baltimore school district is “vigorously” investigating a video posted to Facebook that shows a school resource officer repeatedly slapping and kicking a young man at a local high school.
The roughly four second Facebook video shows a resource officer at Lake Clifton Eastern High School at the REACH! Partnership School slapping a young man three times in the face and kicking him once Tuesday morning, Fox Baltimore reports.
The cell phone video appears to have been discretely recorded over the shoulder of an unidentified student, and shows a second officer standing idle as his partner pummels and curses the victim, according to the Baltimore Sun.
WJZ first highlighted the video and alerted district officials Tuesday. They weren’t very impressed.
“I was totally appalled at what I saw today,” chief school supports officer Karl Perry told the news site. “I am a parent and I am totally appalled by what I saw in the video. No matter what the circumstances are, I am totally appalled.”
None of the people in the video – the student recording, the officer smacking the victim, the victim, or the officer standing by – have been identified, though Baltimore City Police contend the officers are not in that department.
“I can confirm it’s not a Baltimore City Police officer,” T.J. Smith, police media relations director, told Fox Baltimore.
District spokeswoman Edie House said officials have confirmed the assailant is a school resource officer, but officials have not determined whether the victim is a student. The person who recorded the video told WJZ he is.
Baltimore City School Police Union President Clyde Boatwright told WBAL he spoke with the officer striking the student in the video since the incident went public, but refused to divulge his name.
“It is in the early stages of the investigation, and we look forward to a full and complete investigation and at this point we’re just waiting for those results,” he said.
The news site noted that the officer in the video appears to be armed, and school-based officers cannot carry guns in school while patrol officers can.
Raw Story reports the officer and his colleague in the video were placed on administrative leave with school Police Chief Marshall Goodwin as the investigation continues.
Parents and relatives of Baltimore students, of course, were outraged by the video.
“He’s lucky that wasn’t my little brother because I would be in jail right now,” resident David Lucas told WJZ. “He had no right doing that.”
Father Gary Payne feels the same way.
“If it were my son, I would be highly upset, asking questions, wanting to know what happened prior to it,” he said. “But still, nobody deserves to get their hands put on them like that.”