NYPD cop who shot Ramarley Graham should be fired, protesters say
Family of an unarmed Bronx teen shot dead by an NYPD officer in 2012, furious at this week’s announcement that the shooter will go unprosecuted, went to City Hall Thursday to demand his firing.
Chanting and flanked by members of the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, the mother of Ramarley Graham said her grief is compounded by Officer Richard Haste’s continued presence on the police force, as well as that of others involved in the case.
“These officers should not be running around with a gun or a badge,” Constance Malcolm, the 18-year-old’s mother, said in the City Hall plaza. “They murdered my son.”
Speaking in the Bronx later in the day, Police Commissioner William Bratton said the officers involved had been served with internal charges and the case is “now in the hands of the department advocate” — the NYPD’s in-house prosecutor — “and he will be putting his case together and going forward.”
At the rally, leaders of the 26-member council caucus released a letter to Bratton saying that “Officer Haste’s continued service on the police force is neither safe nor just.”
The fatal encounter began Feb. 2, 2012, when narcotics cops became suspicious of Graham as he walked through a Bronx neighborhood with friends. Radio traffic indicates they believed he was armed.
They chased him to his family’s apartment, and, without a warrant, busted in and shot him, mistaking a gesture by the teen as a reach for a weapon. Marijuana was found in the toilet, but no gun.
A state grand jury had initially indicted the cop, but that case was dismissed because of a prosecutorial mistake. A second grand jury declined to indict. The city settled a civil case with the teen’s family for $3.9 million.
Earlier this week, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, announced that there was insufficient evidence to charge Haste with a federal crime.
Assemblyman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) said that the lack of any prosecution and Haste’s employment with the NYPD put the city in jeopardy for unrest.
won’t bring charges in Graham case
“Warning! Warning!” Barron said. “When peaceful methods for justice are ignored, violence is inevitable.”
— With Anthony M. DeStefano
Cops Leave Family A Note Explaining Why They Shot Their Dog
By Christian Cotroneo
An Oklahoma family came home from church this week to find a scene from hell on their doorstep.
Their faithful dog, Bruno, had been shot. Still, he waited faithfully on their porch for Angie Laymon and her young children to return.
A note on the door offered some kind of explanation. It was from Rogers County police.
"We were investigating a crime and your dog attacked our deputy," it read. "The dog was shot and we need you to call us."
Laymon, who shared her story on Facebook, gathered that there had been a disturbance at the neighbor's house earlier.
"A deputy came over to ask some questions regarding the neighbor's house and felt threatened by my dog. So he shot him on my porch. That was their story," Laymon told Fox 23 News.
Bruno spent three hours bleeding on a porch before Laymon and her daughters found him.
Bruno's leg was amputated on Friday. "The damage was too significant and the chances of healing were slim to none," Laymon wrote.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $5,000 to help cover Bruno's medical bills.
Laymon shared a message on her Facebook page from an officer who read about her story:
"Most cops I know love dogs. But when at work the mentality changes. I'm so very sorry this happened. Sad to say he will get to keep his job. Also sad to say his next target will possibly be a human. Many hugs to your family. And my sincerest apologies."
As for Laymon, she's taking the high road, choosing not to publish the name of the officer who did this to her dog.
"Thousands of people are heartsick at what has been done to Bruno. It is horrible, it is tragic, it is heartbreaking for my children to have witnessed it," she writes on Facebook. "But what if someone decides to take revenge? What if someone takes the name that I share and takes justice into their own hands. What if another senseless tragedy follows the first?"
Indeed, she's taking a better, more effective road to making sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.
"I do want Rogers County to take a good hard look at protocol and realize that pets are family members and that this should have been avoided," she writes.
Want to help? Get in touch with Rogers County and let officials know that police need better training in their interactions with animals.
You can reach the sheriff at this number: 918-923-4939. You can also call the Rogers County Sheriff's Office at 918-923-4755.
To learn more about finding justice for companion animals killed by police, visit the Animal Legal Defense Fund here.
Family Says Officer Shot Their Dog During Search At Miami-Dade Home
March 7, 2016 11:14 PM By Carey Codd
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami family is angry after a Miami-Dade Police officer opened fire on their dog, killing him.
According to the Garcia family, several Miami Dade Police officers showed up Monday morning looking for someone. Once officers walked in to the yard, the family’s dog, Charlie, did what he normally does — protect his turf.
“If somebody comes in the house that he doesn’t know, he’s gonna bark at them and tell them, ‘Hey. I’m here. Get out,'” said Adrian Garcia, Charlie’s owner.
The family says the dog was barking and growling at officers but stopped and stood next to Garcia’s mother.
“My mom repeatedly said, ‘Don’t come inside. There’s a dog. Let me put him away,'” Garcia said.
Garcia said one of the officers opened fire, shooting Charlie in the neck. Garcia said what also upsets him is a comment one of the officers’ made.
“He said the shooting and death of my dog meant nothing,” Garcia said. “That he’s just an animal.”
The family took cellphone video through a screen showing officers in the front yard looking for something after the shooting. The family believes they were looking for the shell casing from the shooting.
Garcia said the officers showed his mother a picture of the man they were looking for. Garcia said it was a black man with dreadlocks and no one fitting that description lives here.
“We don’t know if he used to live here,” Garcia said.
Garcia and his wife say they moved in about 6 months ago.
“We had absolutely no problem with them looking in here,” said Lizett Vila. “It’s just that we told them, let’s tie up the dog first.”
Miami Dade Police said they were at the address to serve a warrant on someone inside the home but they could not elaborate. A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Police Department said many of the details of the shooting and who police were looking for will be investigated by Internal Affairs officers. But one thing is certain — the spokesperson said — no officer wants to shoot and kill someone’s animal.
Garcia says they had a Beware of Dog sign posted on the front fence and he is angry that the officers only reaction was to shoot his pet.
“You don’t walk into a house without knowing there’s a dog,” Garcia said. “That’s a very rookie move of them.”
Garcia said he’s going to hire a lawyer to look into a possible lawsuit against the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Chicago Police Officer Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Using Excessive Force Against a Handcuffed Store Clerk
Chicago Police Officer Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Using Excessive Force Against a Handcuffed Store Clerk
Alabama cop arrested for murder in death of unarmed black man shot 5 times
A police officer from Montgomery, Alabama has been arrested on murder charges over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man. His lawyer claimed the arrest was politically motivated, while the family says the man was shot because of his skin color.
Officer Aaron Smith, 23, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder in the death of Gregory Gunn, a 58-year-old African-American man who was walking home around 3 a.m. a week ago when he was stopped. According to the Associated Press, police said Smith, who is white, believed Gunn looked “suspicious,” and left his police vehicle to approach Gunn on foot.
It’s unclear exactly what happened during the confrontation between the two, but Gunn family attorney Tyrone Means told AP that Gunn was shot five times – three times in the chest and two times in the buttocks.
Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said Wednesday that Smith’s arrest did not constitute an indictment and that the officer was held on a bail of $150,000,AL.com reported.
Bailey determined, along with the State Bureau of Investigation, that there was “probable cause that a crime had been committed.” He added that he plans to present the case to a grand jury once the investigation is finished.
The news comes as police behavior, particularly in communities of color, continues to be scrutinized across the US. To the Gunn family and police brutality protesters, Smith’s arrest was welcomed.
"All I want is justice," said Gunn's mother, Nellie Ruth Gunn, according to AP.
Gee whiz I hope the cops didn't let this guy work when they had proof he had mental issues and now they want to cut a deal to avoid going public with that
In the John Geer police shooting case, silence returns, officer sits in Fairfax jail
By Tom Jackman March 7
For many months, the defining characteristic of the investigation into the death of John Geer was silence. From August 2013, when the Fairfax County, Va., man was shot in the doorway of his home during a standoff with police, to January 2015, there was no information released about why Geer was shot, whether it was legally justifiable, or even who shot him.
Eventually, thanks to a lawsuit by Geer’s family, a Fairfax judge ordered the information released. And last August, ex-Fairfax police officer Adam Torres was charged with murder. But after a brief flurry of pre-trial motions in the fall, nothing. Not a single document or motion has been filed in more than three months, since Torres’ lawyers received a continuance of the trial from its original December setting. The trial is now just six weeks away, set for April 18.
Meanwhile Torres, 33, remains in the Fairfax jail without bond. Prosecutors had expected that his attorneys, John Carroll and Ed Nuttall, would seek to appeal for bond to the Virginia Court of Appeals, but nothing has been filed. Pretrial motions to exclude evidence, or witnesses, also have not been filed.
Carroll did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment. He has represented Torres since the day of the shooting in 2013, but has not discussed the case publicly.
Both Don Geer, John Geer’s father, and Mike Lieberman, the family’s attorney, said they had not heard anything from the police or prosecutors. Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said he had no news to report. Morrogh was prepared to go to trial in December, but shortly before Thanksgiving, Torres’s lawyers asked for a continuance, saying they had a witness who was unavailable for the December trial. Judge Robert J. Smith granted the postponement over Morrogh’s objection.
Many criminal defense lawyers expected that Torres’s attorneys would seek to have the former officer released from jail before the holidays by appealing the original denial of bond. Carroll had argued that Torres had been working in police headquarters for two years after the shooting without incident, and so was neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. Also, his wife was pregnant with their third child. But no appeal was filed.
Now, defense lawyers wonder if Carroll is angling for a plea bargain for Torres, pleading guilty to manslaughter with an agreement that he would be released with “time served:” roughly eight months since his arrest in August to the trial date in April. Neither side is talking about that. But the answers should be coming soon, as the silence comes to an end.
Tom Jackman has been covering criminal justice for The Post since 1998, and now anchors the new "True Crime" blog.
Buffalo cop suspended after accusations of DWI
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo Police officer has been suspended with pay after allegedly drinking and driving. David Rodriguez — a 22-year veteran of the Buffalo Police. Police say Rodriguez was off duty when he struck another vehicle from behind, and no injuries were reported.
and still more cops go to jail...maybe, as a nation, we need to start looking into who we allow to be cops
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 29, 2016
Former North Randall police officer sentenced to five years in prison for selling firearms to felons
A former police officer was sentenced to more than five years in prison for illegally selling firearms to people he knew were felons, said Carole S. Rendon, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
Kevin R. Lumpkin, 29, of North Olmsted, was convicted last year of selling a Hi-Point .45-caliber rifle and a Ruger .380-caliber pistol on different occasions to people he knew were convicted of felonies and therefore forbidden from possessing a firearm. These sales took place between 2011 and 2013, when Lumpkin was a North Randall police officer, according to trial testimony.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys M. Kendra Klump and Edward Feran following an investigation by the FBI.
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Former Longwood Police Chief Sentenced To Four Years In Federal Prison
Orlando, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell has sentenced Thomas S. Jackson to four years in federal prison for conspiracy and bribery of an agent of a local government receiving federal funds. A federal jury found him guilty on October 27, 2015.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Jackson was the Chief of Police of the Longwood Police Department (LPD) from 1997 until his retirement on May 28, 2010. Between October 2007 and the date of his retirement, Samer Majzoub, a convicted felon, paid Jackson more than $30,000 in bribes. In return, Jackson appointed Majzoub as an officer with the LPD. Jackson gave Majzoub the supervisory titles of commander, lieutenant, and sergeant, and provided him with badges and credentials that represented Majzoub as an officer of LPD. Jackson also assisted Majzoub in possessing firearms and ammunition. As a previously convicted felon, Majzoub was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law.
Majzoub has been charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy and three counts of bribery of an agent of a local government receiving federal funds. He has not been arrested and is a fugitive.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger B. Handberg and James D. Mandolfo.
Ghost car my ass, somebody fucked up and that's the cover story...besides how much money do the cops have that they can afford ghost cars?
McLEAN, Va. - Fairfax County police say vandals spray-painted one of their marked police cruisers parked in a neighborhood over the weekend.
The cruiser was tagged in red and green spray paint Saturday night on Westmoreland Street in McLean.
Police say the cruiser is a "ghost car" that police leave parked in certain areas to get cars to slow down and increase visibility in the community.
This cop is an idiot and that's his right. Firing him for having the wrong opinion is dangerous and it should not have been done.
Ohio police officer fired after calling Black Lives Matter activist’s suicide a ‘happy ending’
By Yanan Wang March 8
23-year-old Black Lives Matter activist commits suicide
MarShawn M. McCarrel II, a young Ohio activist involved with the Black Lives Matter movement committed suicide on the steps of the Statehouse in Columbus. (WBNS-10TV http://www.10tv.com/)
Like many activists, MarShawn M. McCarrel II was vocal on social media, but not just about his causes. While political commentary certainly had a place in his Facebook status updates, the platform was more often dominated by emotional and philosophical musings.
“Pride will make you miss out on so much,” the 23-year-old Columbus, Ohio, native wrote in January.
“Lost is the man who has more answers than questions,” he reflected a few days later.
And on Feb. 8, a heart-rending Facebook post foretold his fate: “My demons won today. I’m sorry.”
That night, McCarrel stood on the steps of the Ohio statehouse and shot himself dead.
No one — not friends, family or police — could say why he did it. McCarrel was a prominent local activist, having coordinated Black Lives Matter protests following the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. He founded a nonprofit called Pursuing Our Dreams, which provided monthly homemade lunches to the homeless.
Days before his apparent suicide, McCarrel had smiled for pictures taken on the red carpet of the NAACP Image Awards.
Just as he shared much of his life on social media, on social media too was he mourned, with condolences and tributes flooding into the Black Lives Matter Cincinnati Facebook page.
Not all the responses, however, were kind.
While off duty, Fairborn, Ohio, police officer Lee Cyr reacted to the news of McCarrel’s death with the comment “Love a happy ending.”
According to Dayton Daily News, it appeared alongside unsympathetic responses from others — comments reading “What a hypocrite” and “One less to worry about.”
Cyr was placed on administrative leave after an internal complaint alerted the Fairborn Police Department to the comment last month. He has now been fired, WDTN-TV reported on Monday.
The department said in a statement that Cyr’s action violated its social media policy.
[‘My demons won today': Ohio activist’s suicide spotlights depression among Black Lives Matter leaders]
For local activists, the comment highlighted some of the very issues that the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to combat.
“We have received a lot of negative responses,” Tristina Allen, a fellow organizer who knew McCarrel told Dayton Daily News in February. “I think it is completely unacceptable for someone who is supposed to protect and serve to have that comment towards someone who is dead.”
Yanan Wang is a reporter on the Morning Mix team.
A.J. Lagoe and Steven Eckert, KARE 9:45 AM. CST March 01, 2016
BLAINE, Minn. - “Without fear or favor.” That’s the way the law should be enforced, according to the official Code of Ethics adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
An investigation by KARE 11 News has uncovered evidence that, instead of following that code, some Minnesota police officers follow the unwritten rule known as “Professional Courtesy.” It’s the notion that cops shouldn’t ticket other cops.
Police dash cam video obtained by KARE 11 after a public records request shows what can happen.
On November 7, 2015, Blaine police officers responded to an alarm call at the Lexington Avenue Fleet Farm. They found a running car in the parking lot. The man in the driver’s seat appeared to be passed out. Police reports would later say there were “open containers of silver Coors Light cans in the passenger seat …”
The police video shows the Blaine officers repeatedly banging on the car roof and door. You can hear them yelling, “Wake up!”
When they finally get the driver’s attention, the video shows he seems incapable of following basic requests. He had to be asked nine times just to open his door.
Blaine Police Officer Brad Nordby can be heard saying to the driver, “Can you open it? Ok, open the door.” He then says to his partner, “Oh, great. His penis is out of his pants.”
“Why don’t you zip up for me,” he tells the driver.
Instead of opening his car door, the driver revs the engine. Fortunately, the car was not in gear.
When the driver eventually get out of the car, the Blaine officers ask him to perform tests to determine whether he’s able to drive.
Once again, basic requests don’t seem to be understood. After repeatedly being asked to remove his hat, the driver tells an officer, “I don’t understand what you want me to do.”
Dash camera footage shows the driver, who would later be identified as William Monberg, 28, incapable of walking a straight line without stumbling.
The video shows a breathalyzer test being administered. Police records say it registered .202 – more than two and a half times the legal limit.
“William, right now I’m going to place you under arrest for DWI,” said Officer Nordby, as he handcuffs Monberg and places him in the back seat of the patrol car.
It seems to be a by-the-books DWI arrest. But moments later, things change.
The police dash camera captures the moment when Officer Norby and his partner, Officer Brandon Fettig, examine Monberg’s wallet.
“Oh crap!” one of them exclaims.
Then, without saying a word, both pull out and turn off their body microphones and step out of view of the patrol car cameras.
In the back seat of the squad car, though, another police camera is still recording video and audio of what happened next.
The video shows William Monberg, already handcuffed and under arrest, being let out of the car. Moments later he climbs back in. The handcuffs have been removed. And, instead of taking him to jail, the Blaine police officers can be heard trying to arrange a ride home for him.
Turns out, the man they originally arrested is not an ordinary citizen. He, too, wears a badge.
William Monberg is an investigator for the Columbia Heights Police Department. “I don’t condone their behavior,” said Duane Wolfe. “I wish they’d made a different decision, but cops are human.”
Wolfe, a retired officer, is a law enforcement instructor at Alexandria Technical and Community College.
He also writes for PoliceOne.com, a popular police blog. In 2009, he wrote an article about so-called “Professional Courtesy,” arguing that the badge shouldn’t be a “get out of jail free card.”
Wolfe says that article sparked more comments than any other he has even written, many of them critical.
In police circles, Wolfe says the notion that cops shouldn’t ticket other cops is contentious and fiercely debated. “A lot of police officers feel that pressure to take care of their brethren,” he said.
But Wolfe argues that officers giving other officers special treatment “doesn’t serve the profession, doesn’t serve the department and quite honestly it doesn’t serve the officer.” He adds, “They just get the attitude that there are no consequences for my actions.”
For Officer William Monberg there were no immediate consequences.
He was not taken into custody. No mugshots were taken. His car was not towed. Instead, the Blaine officers helped him arrange a ride home.
No official police reports were filed at the time. On the video from the back seat of the squad car, Monberg can even be heard asking if anything about the incident was being entered into the police department’s Computer Aided Dispatch system.
“You know what’s in the CAD notes on that?” Monberg asks. “Nothing,” answers one of the Blaine officers.
The cover-up of the incident almost worked.
However a month later, Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson assigned an investigator to look into what happened that night. As a result, Officer Monberg was officially charged with DWI in December.
Chief Olson would not do an on-camera interview, citing the pending DWI case. But he told KARE 11, “In this case inexperienced officers made a mistake. It’s not acceptable.”
“My expectation is fair and impartial policing and that didn’t happen,” he continued. “We need to treat people fairly and it shouldn’t matter what they do for a living.”
Chief Olson said he addressed what happened and his expectations going forward in a department wide roll-call.
Officer Monberg has pleaded not guilty to the DWI charges and has a court date scheduled March 2. The Columbia Heights Police Department says it suspended Monberg for 30 days on the eve of his first court date back in January.
Officer Monberg released a statement to KARE 11:
I am profoundly ashamed, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself for the incident that occurred on November 7, 2015. I extend my most genuine apologies to my agency and community, the Blaine Police Department, and the officers who were placed in an incredibly difficult position because of my actions. I accept full responsibility for those actions but insist they do not represent an accurate reflection of my personal or professional character. I have been working diligently over the past four months to ensure that a similar situation will not occur again.
Oak Forest Cop Arrested in Attack on 2 Teens in California
The teens told police they were targeted because they were speaking Arabic.
Oak Forest, IL
By LAUREN TRAUT (Patch Staff) - March 1, 2016 11:26 am ET
An Oak Forest police officer has been arrested in connection with the attack and stabbing of two teenagers in California.
Arthur Roman, 28, of Tinley Park, was arrested along with his 25-year-old brother Martin, and his brother's wife, Jessica, after attacking two teenagers who allege they were targeted because they were speaking Arabic, ABC-7 reports.
Karam Jarrah, 17, was stabbed twice on Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of a fitness center in Huntington Beach. He and his brother-in-law, Asem Dghem, were walking by a car in which the three suspects were sitting, when one commented, "What's up Obama bam?'" Jarrah told police.
Jarrah told police the confrontation escalated to violence, and Martin Roman pulled a knife and stabbed him.
Police are not able to confirm the attack was racially motivated.
It is not being treated as a hate crime.
By Sheena Vasani, Tue, March 1, 2016
A North Carolina Sheriff’s Deputy was fired after a camera caught him flashing the middle finger at a driver Feb. 26.
Van Anthony, 52, gave the rude gesture to civilian driver Scott Lipe, who was filming Anthony from another car after catching him speeding, Fox News reports.
"I could see him coming up in the rear view mirror, and I was like, 'This car is flying.' So my phone was sitting beside me in the seat," Lipe said, WLOS reports.
The driver explained after he pulled out his camera, the officer waved and gave him the finger.
"He's a deputy. He's in a patrol car in a uniform with a badge, and there's people all over the place. And he's just waving his finger around like he doesn't care," Lipe said. "I mean if you look at the picture, he's just smiling and having a good time."
The sheriff later apologized to Lipe and, after being their employee for nearly two years, was fired by Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
"They hold us accountable, and sometimes they have to be held accountable," Lipe explained.
Indeed, there have been many instances where civilians have gotten into trouble with law enforcement for holding up the same gesture.
William Martin received a disorderly conduct summons after flipping off an aggressive driver who turned out to be a police officer, the Bergendis Patch reports.
“When I received a summons, I felt that my free speech rights were under attack for nothing more than expressing my frustration with someone whose driving had put people at risk,” Martin said.
The ACLU agreed and defended Martin, whose charges were later dismissed. ACLU-NJ Deputy Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero, Martin’s representative, said:
Enforcing manners rather than public safety is a poor use of police resources. Our client expressed his frustration using a peaceful, silent gesture that is protected by the First Amendment. In this case, an officer chose to initiate and escalate an encounter instead of just ignoring it. It might be rude to flip off a police officer, but it isn’t a crime.”
Martin was grateful when the charges against him were dismissed.
“I’m relieved to know that the town of New Milford recognized it wasn’t worth prosecuting me for expressing my frustration,” he explained.
Sources: Fox News, WLOS, Bergendis Patch / Photo credit: Office of the Sheriff Jackson County
A Baltimore City schools police officer is shown in a cellphone video slapping a young man Tuesday at REACH Partnership School in East Baltimore.
Liz Bowie and Kevin Rector
Law enforcement officials investigating video that appears to show officer slapping a young man.
Law enforcement officials launched a criminal investigation Wednesday after video surfaced of a Baltimore school police officer slapping and kicking a teenage youth while a second officer watches.
The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon on the steps outside a city high school. School Police Chief Marshall Goodwin and the two officers in the video were placed on administrative leave, and activists renewed calls for the Department of Justice to investigate the school police.
School officials have released few details of the incident, and there is disagreement about whether the youth is a student.
On Wednesday, acting School Police Chief Akil Hamm said the two officers responded to REACH Partnership School in Clifton Park after two "intruders" were reported inside. He said their presence was considered a threat.
The officers moved the two young men outside, Hamm said. He said school officials had determined that the two were not students by consulting with school administrators, who could not identify them. He said police wanted the community's help identifying them.
Attorney Lauren Geisser, who said she represents the 16-year-old youth and his parents, said he does attend the school. Geisser said the youth, whom she declined to identify because he is a minor, went to the hospital for injuries to his ribs and face.
Geisser said she, the youth and his parents went to the school Wednesday to speak to Principal James Gresham but were told he was in a meeting. Geisser said the parents wanted assurances that their child would be safe if he walked into the school.
"We waited for a significant period of time," Geisser said. "You would think the principal would want an open line of communication on this issue."
She said she was able to get a copy of the rolls that showed the youth's name on the list of students.
In a statement, Baltimore Schools CEO Gregory Thornton said, "I am completely appalled and disappointed by what is depicted in the video."
Schools spokeswoman Edie House Foster said school officials are investigating the case "vigorously."
Hamm said the school system is taking the incident "extremely seriously." He declined to identify the officers, citing the investigation and rules on personnel matters.
The Baltimore Police Department's Special Investigation Response Team will handle the criminal investigation at Hamm's request, police said. The team will work closely with the State's Attorney's Office. Police will also provide a liaison for the internal investigation that is be handled by the Baltimore City School Police.
"This is the right thing to do in a case like this," said Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis.
Foster said the officer who slapped and kicked the boy was part of a "multi-campus" assignment patrolling an area that includes several schools, and not assigned specifically to REACH.
The video was filmed by a friend of the youth, Geisser said, and posted on Facebook.
Karl Perry, the district's chief schools support officer, said he was "appalled" by the video as a man and an educator. He said most school police officers would never act in such a way.
"This type of behavior is not indicative of our schools police officers," Perry said. "This is unacceptable. It's not behavior that will ever be tolerated by any city employee."
The reaction to the video came quickly, with students and public officials calling for greater transparency and scrutiny of school police.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake described the scene in the video as "appalling," and said the officer's actions could further harm the relationship between the community and the police.
"Any time there is a law enforcement officer with that level of authority that seems to be abusing that authority, it impacts all of us across the country," she said. "It certainly is not helpful as we work to build bridges of trust to see that level of mistreatment."
Jenny Egan, a public defender who represents juveniles, said that while all the facts are not yet known, the video is "a vivid example of the criminalization of children and of treating misbehavior like crime."
She said it would be particularly unjust if young black students who come from high-crime neighborhoods in the city can't feel safe at school.
If there is "violence at the hands of people who are supposed to be there to protect you," she said, "then there is no place safe for our kids, and that is not right."
Karen Webber, director of the Education and Youth Development program at the Open Society Institute-Baltimore, called for better training of school police officers in de-escalation and conflict resolution.
City students and advocates have been calling for change for more than a year, after an altercation between a female school officer and three female students at a middle school was caught on film. The officer in that case pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and resigned.
Last month, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund called on the Department of Justice to expand its investigation of the Baltimore Police Department to include the city school police department. The two police departments operate independently.
"The video was distressing," said Monique Dixon, the fund's deputy director of policy. "It is an example of persistent police violence against young men of color."
Dixon, Webber and Egan called for greater oversight of the school police department, and said the district needs to develop guidelines for the officers.
Dixon said information the school system released to the Legal Defense Fund showed incidents in which school officers used batons and pepper spray against students. She said the use of force against students is not consistently reported.
The video is four seconds in length. It's unclear what occurred before the officer began slapping the boy.
"We are waiting for the department to conduct a full and complete investigation," said Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the school police union.
When David Pontious saw the video, his first thought was "Not again."
Pontious, a 17-year-old senior at Baltimore City College High School and a core member of the student-led activist group City Bloc, said the school system has not been transparent about its efforts to improve police.
"Even though we've had a lot of meetings, a lot of input, a lot of discussions with the school system, we've still seen very little training that school police get, and very little accountability," he said.
He said the U.S. Department of Justice should be investigating school police, not just the city police.
City Councilman Brandon Scott, vice chair of the public safety committee, said that "no one's child should be treated like that."
Scott said he knows school police officers who mentor kids, coach sports teams and go out of their way to contribute to their school communities. "All of that stuff just gets forgotten" when reports surface of officers misbehaving, he said.
"It just goes to break down all the good will and all the good work that police officers, and schools police officers especially, do every day," Scott said. "That just adds to my level of disgust."
Baltimore Sun reporters Luke Broadwater, Erica L. Green and Colin Campbell contributed to this article.