Local police react to viral video of officer slamming student to the ground

(WTNH) — The South Carolina officer seen in that viral video slamming a student to the ground while sitting at her desk has been fired. The sheriff says his former deputy’s actions were not part of his training and he should have known better.

Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley says his reaction when he first saw the video was, “Did that really just happen?”

21-year-old Vincent Cecchini of Vernon, who sat in class not too long ago says, “If she was still talking on her phone, he could’ve made her get out of the classroom, taken the phone away from her ear, or something, but flipping the desk backwards is pretty stupid.”

“There’s obviously some issues with how that officer reacted individually. Systemically, there’s a problem with that school system calling in a police officer to handle basic discipline,” said Foley.

Foley says in Hartford they have a memorandum of understanding with the Board of Education.

“That is not to handle minor discipline and disruption in the classroom. We’re there as a last resort,” said Foley.

Foley says the purpose of police officers in schools is to encourage positive interactions with students and avoid the negative.

“Our School based arrests are probably down 75 percent,” said Foley.

The sheriff who made the decision to fire that officer also says the student in that video was very disrespectful. She and another student who verbally challenged the officer’s actions during the arrest still face misdemeanor charges of disturbing schools.

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