Video shows an 18-year-old female student kicking a police officer in the head during a lunchtime brawl at a Florida high school Thursday, WPLG-TV reported.
The Miami-Dade County Public Schools Police Department officer was responding to a report of five females fighting during lunch, the station said.
As the officer pinned a 17-year-old girl face-down, video shows Shardae Yvonne Pittman, 18, apparently trying to defend the girl on the ground, WPLG said. Pittman first pushed the officer, then a man — apparently a teacher — tried to pull Pittman away, the station added.
But not before Pittman got in one swift kick to the officer’s head, WPLG reported.
Image source: WPLG-TV video screenshot
Students can be heard yelling “oooh!” on the clip immediately after the kick.
John Shuster, a spokesman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, told the station the officer was not hospitalized.
What did the district have to say?
“Any behavior that endangers the well-being of students and staff at Miami-Dade County Public Schools will not be tolerated, will be handled swiftly and result in severe consequences,” Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, a spokeswoman for the district, said in a statement to WPLG.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Police Chief Edwin Lopez released a statement Thursday night on Twitter, the station said: “It is a shame that while this officer was attempting to break up a fight and maintain a safe learning environment, this adult student acted in a cowardly way.”
Pittman was not part of the initial fight, police told WPLG, adding that the kicked officer’s last name is Zapico.
What did a parent have to say?
Sharnell Lee — the mother of the 17-year-old girl the officer was pinning down — told the station Pittman is her daughter’s friend. Lee picked up her daughter from a juvenile facility Thursday night, saying she wants the girls who attacked her daughter also to face charges, WPLG said.
“One of the girls spit on her face,” Lee told WFOR-TV. “The other [hit her] on her head. When I got here my daughter was put in handcuffs, crying, she was in pain from the cuffs. I asked the officer what happened, he did not respond. I tried to talk to the principal and he did not have any answers for me.
“My daughter comes to school, she is supposed to be safe,” Lee added to WPLG. “Where was the security? Where was everybody when [the fight] took place? Why did she get in trouble? Why would a police officer have my daughter on the ground and allow the other young lady to spit in her face?”
Lee told WSVN-TV, “I’m highly upset about it. I’m pissed.”
Four of the girls will face disciplinary action, WPLG reported, adding that Lee’s daughter and Pittman both face battery on a law enforcement officer charges while Pittman was also charged with educational interference.
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(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)