Monday, a student from Pennsylvania’s Hazleton Area High School uploaded a video showing an altercation between a black student and a white police officer.
In the video, the girl is being restrained by two men holding her arms behind her back. The officer is seen punching her thigh, then grabbing her hair and shoving her face into the table.
All around, students are screaming for the officer to let her go.
This is wrong on so many levels this man violated her patrón talk so much shit when it comes to keeping the school “safe” wonder how he gonna fix this smh what a school.😡😡
Posted by Emi Cespedes on Monday, February 4, 2019
The Hazleton student who uploaded the video captioned it saying,
“This is wrong on so many levels this man violated her patrón talk so much shit when it comes to keeping the school “safe” wonder how he gonna fix this smh what a school.😡😡”
People online are horrified, but not surprised based on the area.
When I was in high school, the mayor of Hazleton got sued by the ACLU for fining anyone who rented to/employed undocumented immigrants https://t.co/Y726AaZWOL
— John Motter (@JohnMotter) February 6, 2019
When I was in high school Border Patrol arrested students on school grounds
— e-gadsden (@itspronounced48) February 6, 2019
This is ridiculous. And abuse. But it isn’t surprising.
— Chelsea Rebecca (@cheslahosla) February 6, 2019
Shout out to the officers who didn’t see anything wrong with the way this child was restrained. You are the reason we break out our cell phones during interactions with police ✊🏿
— Will Lewis (@authorwilllewis) February 6, 2019
A local paper, The Standard Speaker, interviewed the Superintendent Brian Uplinger about the incident.
He is standing by the officers.
“There’s always two sides to a story. There’s extenuating circumstances leading up to what we saw on social media. Please get both sides of the story before making judgment or calling judgment out on any individuals or the district.”
Uplinger told Buzzfeed News that based on the circumstances of the incident, the officers responded appropriately.
“The security officers and school police officers were within the scope of their training to detain these individuals. Had they not, there would have been additional injuries to other students within the cafeteria.”
The school has said the clip released on Facebook doesn’t show the whole story. The Hazleton student in the video had started an argument, that led to three fights between students in the cafeteria.
This wasn’t a good enough explanation for some, as they questioned the amount of force used by multiple grown men to restrain one student.
— That's Mr.TacticalSnowFlake❄ 🇺🇸 (@DexterPorter) February 6, 2019
There is No justification for these goons handling this child this way! One false move and we would be witnessing a murder!
— dcain406 . (@dcain4061) February 6, 2019
TW Child abuse
Four grown white men punch & slam a black girl onto a table & pull at her hair in a violent arrest😓
This reportedly took place at Hazleton Area High School in Pennsylvania
Cops can arrest a white mass murderer calmly but slam black kids
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) February 6, 2019
I won't link to the video of four adult male security guards holding and beating a teenager while she is at Hazleton Area High School. But security guards & police in schools harm Black and Brown children and they need to go. Give us Black and Brown teachers & guidance counselors
— SiSePudo (@anonymsme) February 5, 2019
They got her by both her arms..punching and pulling her hair for what?!?!
— LeftHanded_Virgo✍ (@LeftHand_Virgo) February 6, 2019
Edward Harry, the school security director, wants the District Attorney to file charges against the girl.
“You see a couple seconds, if you want to take that out of context, you are not seeing the whole thing unfold, yeah, you might look at that and think something was done wrong here.”
The school has seen several fights this school year in that cafeteria. Harry said in one incident, students were injured and a teacher was sent to the hospital. There were no reported injuries from the altercation in the video.
“You can see when she stopped, the officers stopped. That’s exactly the way it’s supposed to go.”
There are those defending the actions of the officers, leading to discussions online about whether they were in the right, or used an excessive amount of force.
like really. what did you want him to do? stand there and watch the fight happen? this is not about race it’s about people who can’t handle themselves in public and respect authority when they try and take charge of a situation
— caelyn (@_caelynmcgrannn) February 6, 2019
That security guard had no rights to touch the girl like that. At the end of the day, he did wrong. There was way more ways that he could've solve that problem. He didn't have to punch, repeatedly, on the thigh and press her against the table like that. And I'm from HAHS.
— Elaines🌫 (@mhelaines) February 6, 2019
Seeing all these fights coming from the Hazleton Area High School makes me embarrassed saying that I went there! Students have become more out of control since I left and it is disgusting!
— zach kuchar (@kuchar_zach) February 6, 2019
I’m not embarrassed about being from Hazleton Area High School because of the fights; I’m embarrassed and disgusted by the security guards and the privileged white girls who are sitting around defend the abuse of a teenage girl because she is not white. Y’all need to do better.
— mic (@sickndimpatient) February 6, 2019
Four students have been placed on suspension pending an investigation into this incident. It is unknown at this time if the officers and guards involved are also on leave.