A Louisiana sheriff’s deputy was caught on video body slamming a seventh-grader less than half his size to the ground while breaking up a fight at Westdale Middle School.
Now the Baton East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office is defending the deputy’s actions.
A spokeswoman for the department, Casey Hicks, responded to WASB about the video saying that sometimes use force is necessary in order to neutralize situations.
But the teen’s mom, who doesn’t want to be identified, said the deputy’s use of force was extreme for a boy who weighs only 80 pounds.
“He was involved in a fight and was wrong for fighting, but yes, the officer was wrong for taking and slamming him on the ground. That’s not the proper way to break up a fight,” she said.
“He could’ve broke his hip, his arm, or anything.”
Hicks claims the deputy in the video used the proper amount of force and had no other option but to toss the teen on the ground like a rag doll.
“Rather than deploy a taser or pepper spray that may affect those around the subjects fighting, the deputy physically removed the juvenile,” Hicks argued.
“Had the deputy tried to physically restrain the juvenile while he was combative, he may have then been required to use additional force, which could have resulted in injury. It is unfortunate when law enforcement must intervene due to individuals choosing to engage in violent behavior,” she added, pointing out the video doesn’t show what happened before the boy was body slammed.
But the deputy appears to outweigh the boy by more than 100 pounds.
According to his mom, the teen’s back was examined by a doctor and didn’t suffer any serious injuries from being tossed by the deputy, although he did suffer some cuts and bruises from the incident.
“I really didn’t believe it and then I really didn’t believe that an officer actually did that to a little child.”
The boy was suspended from riding on the bus for five days, according to his mother.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office is apparently standing by its deputy, who has not been suspended.