Round Rock, TX – A school resource officer (SRO) is facing scrutiny after a video of him taking a female student to the ground went viral, but a second video of what led to the March 8 arrest is making critics pause (video below).
The video of the officer arresting the student outside Cedar Ridge High School, filmed on a student’s cell phone, quickly went viral and elicited complaints about the officer’s use of force, WVUE reported.
The video began just as the SRO took a female student to the ground on the sidewalk in front of the school.
After she was down, he stood over her until another officer arrived to help push back the students crowding him.
Then he helped the student to her feet and put handcuffs on her, the video showed.
Round Rock police said that the video only showed the student being taken into custody, it did not show the incident which precipitated the girl’s arrest, WVUE reported.
A cell phone video filmed by yet another student showed the student who was arrested attacking another student on a school bus just moments before her altercation with the school resource officer.
In that video, the girl walked over to another girl, who was seated next to the window, and started hitting her.
The video showed the girl struck her victim about 15 times, hard, as her victim cowered and tried to protect herself.
Another student sitting next to the intended target was also struck multiple times as he tried to duck out of the way.
The altercation lasted less than 10 seconds before an assistant principal intervened and stopped the attack, the video showed.
The video of the officer showed what happened after that student was taken off the bus and remained uncooperative.
The school was investigating both videos, in context, WVUE reported.
“My administrative team, along with District leaders, is working to fully review the situation, what led up to it, and how it was handled,” Cedar Ridge High School Principal Jiae Kim said in a statement.
Round Rock police are also investigating the incident, according to WVUE.
“We’ll take the appropriate actions that we need to take if we find the officer did anything inappropriate,” Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks said.
This latest altercation came just as school district officials and local elected leaders are considering whether to create a school district police department.
The initial proposal for the creation of the new police department was introduced to the community in a letter from Chief Banks, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, and Round Rock Independent School District Superintendent Steve Flores on the day after National School Walkout Day in April of 2018, according to the Statesman.
The letter said the current “patchwork approach” by police and the school district could be fixed by creating a dedicated school district police department.
As a result of the letter, the school board passed a resolution to explore their school policing options.
Thus far, more students were arrested during the fall semester of the 2018-2019 school year than in the entire 2017-2018 academic period, the Statesman reported.
Last year, 46 students were arrested on criminal charges during the entire school year.
This year, 47 students were arrested during the fall semester alone, the Statesman reported.
Deborah Fowler, the executive director at the Austin-based nonprofit Texas Appleseed, said her organization is closely watching what the school board decides to do about the problem, although they’ve already expressed opposition to increased policing on campuses, WVUE reported.
“In our research we’ve shown that black students in particular are over-represented in interactions with police, including uses of force,” Fowler claimed.
Watch the arrest, and what led up to it, in the video below: