San Antonio fires school police officer seen slamming girl in video

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Texas School Police Officer Body Slams A 12-Year-Old Girl

SAN ANTONIO, April 11 (Reuters) - The San Antonio school district on Monday fired a school police officer seen on a viral video body slamming a 12-year-old girl, saying his use of force was unwarranted.

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Shortly after the video was released last week on social media, the district said it was investigating officer Joshua Kehm, who has been with the district since February 2015.

"We understand that situations can sometimes escalate to the point of requiring a physical response," Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. "However, in this situation, we believe that the extent of the response was absolutely unwarranted."

See reactions from Twitter:

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School police officer body slams student in Texas fired
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San Antonio fires school police officer seen slamming girl in video
San Antonio school district fires officer who allegedly body-slammed student. https://t.co/1mOOUkXgws https://t.co/giHFbmhNqj
San Antonio fires school police officer seen slamming girl in video https://t.co/mqJh3H4gNN #NotMeUs https://t.co/jwN7oxcbsd
Her face hit the pavement "6th-grade girl at Rhodes Middle School dropped by San Antonio School Officer" Foul job https://t.co/bP2o1OrXWu
Outraged to see this happen at Rhodes Middle School in SAISD. We have so much work to do to make communities safer. https://t.co/2ww2BPzbdt
Texas, this is why we cannot have nice things. https://t.co/lMv0dYRek7
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In the half-minute video, shot by an unidentified student at Rhodes Middle School on March 29, Kehm is seen grappling with the student, Janissa Valdez, in a school hallway, picking her up and throwing her to the ground.

The girl lies motionless while the officer handcuffs her. She then gets up and is led away by the officer. The video does not show what led up to the incident or what followed.

Martinez said Kehm produced an "inconsistent" police report. School district officials said the Texas Rangers, a statewide police agency, is also looking into the matter.

"We want to be clear. We will not tolerate this behavior," Martinez said.

Kehm has declined to comment on the incident.

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood says his office is also conducting an investigation to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

The video has fed into a national debate over the role of police in schools and the proper procedure for dealing with unruly pupils by school officials.

Almost 31,000 police officers are at U.S. public schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and incidents of violence by officers in schools, especially against minorities, have raised concerns.

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