SAN ANTONIO (WFLA) – A school police officer is on paid leave after video captures him body-slamming a 12-year-old girl to the ground.
The incident happened last Tuesday at Rhodes Middle School in San Antonio. While hard to watch, the now viral video shows sixth grader Janissa Valdez being thrown to the ground by the school police officer
She told WOAI-TV, students at the school were anticipating a fight between her and another student at the school.
“I was going up to her to tell her let’s go somewhere else so we could talk but that’s when the cop thought I was going at her,” Janissa told WOIA-TV.
Many of her classmates reacted by laughing, but Janissa says she does not remember much about the incident.
As for her family, it took them several days to view the video.
“You could just hear where she hits the ground. And it’s nothing but concrete, cement,” her mother Gloria Valdez says. “She wasn’t moving. She was just knocked out. I wanted answers and nobody could give me answers. I contacted the vice-principal. I talked to the officer. He did what he had to do at the moment – those were his words.”
The officer has been identified as Joshua Kehm. Officials said he had been with the force for just over a year. WOIA-TV reached out to Kehm for a statement, but he declined.
Both police and school officials have separate investigations ongoing into the matter.
“It’s very concerning. It’s alarming to see this,” district spokesperson Leslie Price says. “And while we want to get all the details, I want people to know that excessive force will not be tolerated in this district.”