Orange County Sheriff's Office deputies were recorded brutally detaining a Westridge Middle School student.
It happened in the parking lot of the nearby Summerset apartments. Orange County Sheriff's Office released body camera footage of the incident, which shows how the incident began.
Deputies respond to a report of a large group of students fighting. A deputy (not the one seen in earlier, shorter versions of the video) approaches the group and finds the girl who was later detained. She is surrounded by other girls telling her to calm down. Clearly she is in the middle of a tense interaction – very angry, screaming and flailing. The deputy calmly takes her by the wrist as the girl tells him to let go. The deputy walks her to the back of a parked car. He sternly tells her to relax and explain to him what's going on.
"I'm not yelling at you," the deputy says, softening his voice. The girl, who does not appear to resist in any way, lets out a few extra frustrated yelps, turning away from the deputy as she screams, "Oh my God."
Suddenly the deputy later seen brutalizing the young girl swoops in. "Chill out, you're the one who started this shit in school," he yells back at the child. She turns to him as he charges. He forcefully grabs her and spins her around.
A video was uploaded to Facebook and Twitter this morning that first brought attention to the incident that begins right around this point.
It starts with a blood-boiling scream from a Black girl, as two white male deputies handcuff her.
She’s crying. Deep, child-like, where-is-mommy weeping. Wailing. She’s not moving or pushing the officers.
One school resource deputy clasps the back of her head, clenching her hair and her white head wrap to yank her head back. In the brief moments before this, it doesn't appear she was resisting in any way. Just crying.
It's also not clear what the child, all of maybe 12, is being so forcefully detained for.
There's a crowd of largely Black women and girls, many in backpacks, standing around in awe and dismay. The one recording exclaims “damn!” as the officer yanks the baby's head and holds it to lead her to the squad car.
The women and girls witnessing the brutality immediately erupt into screams and hollers themselves. “Oh, I got that on camera,” the woman recording yells at the deputies as she trails behind them.
So many women and children scream so many things in disgusted indignation. “What the fuck are you doing?” one clearly, incredulously yelps. “Fuck 12," the woman recording says, placing a middle finger aimed at the deputies in front of her camera.
Others, mainly Black women and girls, follow and surround the deputies and tell the deputies to stop, or the onlookers start recording themselves in the hopes that anyone will believe that another Black girl was brutalized by law enforcement.
Neither of the officers says anything as the women and girls follow, slowly turning around like predators amused by the sight of another living creature daring to approach or act as though they deserve respect and reasonable interactions and safety.
One officer then takes out a baton, extending it downward like a plantation owner readying a whip with a warning snap.
Women scream again. Girls just gut-wrenchingly screaming.
“Back up,” the bald, weapon yielding officer says, “I am tired of everybody here.”
“Everyone needs to chill out,” he yells, ignoring his own advice in condescending-cop sort of way. People freeze around the officer with the weapon. One girl turns and exasperatingly says “fuck that.”
The police place the child, all along facing away from the cameras and people, in the back of the squad car. The officer with the baton jams it back to pocket-size against the ground.
The video was captured by a Tiffany Faith and tweeted out by civil rights activist Rasha Mubarak. “No words,” she said in the post. The ACLU has weighed in, as well:
The statement says the office is aware of the video of the deputy "using an inappropriate amount of force on a middle school student."
"The School Resource Deputy was immediately removed from the school this morning pending termination. Our Professional Standards Division has opened an investigation and will submit it to the State Attorney’s Office for review," said the statement.
“I am very upset by what I saw on that video,” said Mina. “The actions of this deputy appear to violate some of the most important values and expectations that I have set as Sheriff. The type of behavior I witnessed on the video and on body worn camera video will not be tolerated.”
The deputy's name is Harry Reid, the sheriff's office later released. He's been with Orange County since February. He worked as an Orange County sheriff's deputy from 2000-2004, left to work for a law enforcement agency in North Carolina from 2005-20016 and came back.
In a press conference, Mina said that he was "outraged."
"This type of behavior will not be tolerated," he said. He also added that the office's internal affairs section is investigating the incident and will turn over finding to the state attorney to see if criminal charges are warranted.
Also noted was the status of the child, who deputies say was not arrested but briefly detained before being returned to a parent.
You already know what my first phone calls this Friday morning looked like— this is OUTRAGEOUS. No words. We need immediate accountability. These are KIDS. Video via Tiffany Faith #OrangeCounty #Orlando #Florida pic.twitter.com/HrnDN1w7Qp— Rasha (@RashaMK) November 8, 2019
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