FORT PIERCE, Fla. (WSVN) — Viral video showing the moment a Florida school resource officer slammed a student on the ground is causing concern for parents.
Video shows a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy chasing an 11-year-old student before picking him up and slamming him to the ground.
Officials said the student became aggressive during dismissal and when staff tried to stop him, he ran away.
Authorities said the student is in a criminal justice diversion program from a previous incident and is required to be escorted by staff at all times. During dismissal, deputies said, the student disregarded all instructions and the situation escalated.
Deputies said the school resource deputy was called to help to assist in the situation.
“Our school resource deputy is very, very familiar with this student and knows he has a violent history, including possessing weapons,” said St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara.
Mascara said the deputy tried to detain the student, which led to the student running away, and the deputy catching up and slamming him to the ground.
The student’s aunt, Nancy Lewis, said she felt that things should have been handled differently.
“I was kind of shocked that the police slammed him, you know, I didn’t appreciate that,” Lewis told WPTV.
Lewis said that the boy’s mother was killed years ago and his father isn’t around. She said that these are not excuses for his actions, but the situation did not have to evolve to that point.
“I understand why he did it, because maybe [expletive] got out of control, but he could just have handled it in a better way,” she said.
The sheriff said this is the only complaint of excessive force that officer has had in his eight years on the job and three years at that school.
The student was taken to a hospital and released with a band-aid. The boy’s grandfather tells WPTV that the child is now undergoing a mental health evaluation.
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