Things That Matter

A Deputy Sheriff Is Fired After Video Shows Him Body Slamming 11-Year-Old Student

A police officer in North Carolina has been fired and charged with assault after a video showing him body-slamming a student repeatedly has surfaced. Ex-police officer Warren Durham is being charged with misdemeanor assault on a child less than 12 years old. The video shows the officer slamming the child to the ground twice before picking him up by his hoodie and dragging him down the hallway.

School and law officials are investigating why a deputy sheriff would body slam a student during school. The student suffered minor injuries, and the sheriff was fired after first being put on paid leave.

Credit: @TheKingCenter / Twitter

It’s unclear when the incident took place at Vance County Middle School in Henderson, North Carolina. However, the Vance County Schools filed a complaint against the sheriff last week. The deputy sheriff was initially placed on paid leave but was ultimately fired for body-slamming the student in the hallway and then picking him up and dragging him away. 

A surveillance video of the incident went viral on social media, leaving many shocked over the sheriff’s unexpected behavior.

Credit: @TheKingCenter / Twitter

In the video, the sheriff is seen walking alongside the young boy in the hallway, when out of nowhere, he picks him up and slams him to the ground. The boy doesn’t move. He lays there for a second or two stunned before the sheriff picks him up again and drags him away. 

It’s unclear what the child did, or what was said because there’s no audio to the released clip.

Credit: @TheKingCenter / Twitter

“We are deeply concerned by the actions that took place,” Aarika Sandlin, a Vance County Schools spokeswoman, said in an email Sunday, according to the New York Times. “School and district officials are working closely and in full cooperation with the local authorities to address this matter consistent with school board policy and state laws. The safety of our students has been and continues to be of the utmost importance to our district.”

The student’s name has not been released.

Sheriff Curtis Brame said he was in complete awe when he saw the video of his colleague body-slamming the child. 

“We went over, and when we first saw the video, we were stunned, we were shocked,” Brame said to CBS17 News. “We all are parents and grandparents that have children at that same age, so it brought some great concern to us.” The video prompted the District Attorney to file charges of assault on a child less than 12 years old.

“This is just a stunning kind of incident. I don’t see any justification at this point for that officer’s behavior and action,” Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said, according to ABC News. He added, “I don’t know what was said. I don’t think anything that was said or anything like that could justify his action. I don’t think that will be relevant to any determination.”

Just last week in Broward County, Florida, another sheriff was also fired for slamming a 15-year-old on the ground. 

While the April 18 incident didn’t occur in school, a video showed three law officers using excessive force on the teenager which including punching him in the chest. Last week at least one of those officers involved was fired. 

“When my deputies do the right thing, I will always support them and have their back. But I will not stand idly by while anyone violates his or her sworn duty to protect,” Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Gregory Tony said a press release last week according to ABC News. “Even a singular incident of excessive force by one of our deputies creates distrust between the community and our organization, and that is something I will not allow.”

The safety of students in schools has become a major issue in the U.S. after numerous school shootings over the years and the increased knowledge of police brutality.

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In March, the Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine released findings that between 1999 to 2017, 38,942 school-age (5 to 18) children were killed by guns. 

“It is sobering that in 2017, there were 144 police officers who died in the line of duty and about 1,000 active-duty military throughout the world who died, whereas 2,462 school-age children were killed by firearms,” said Dr. Charles Hennekens, the study’s senior author and an academic adviser at the medical college, told CNN

READ: From School Shootings To Change: Here’s What’s Happened Since The Tragic Shooting In Parkland, Florida

An NYPD Officer Is Seen Choking A Black Man Just Days After Officials Banned The Use Of Chokeholds

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An NYPD Officer Is Seen Choking A Black Man Just Days After Officials Banned The Use Of Chokeholds

David Dee Delgado / Getty Images

Even though police brutality and the way officers systemically abuse Black Americans is finally gaining mainstream attention, officers continue to put Black lives at risk.

As the country struggles to figure out ways to move forward when it comes to addressing policing of Black communities – attacks on those communities continue. Over the weekend, a Black man in New York was attacked by an NYPD officer in what the police commissioner is calling an “apparent chokehold” – even though chokeholds have long been banned by the department.

A viral video shows an NYPD officer using a chokehold on a Black man as people shout at him to stop.

An NYPD officer has been suspended without pay after a video of him allegedly attacking a man in what the police commissioner has called an “apparent chokehold.”

A video shot by one of the man’s friends – who he was hanging out with – showed a group of NYPD officers tackling a black man, with one of them putting his arm around his neck as he lay face-down on the boardwalk. Several bystanders start to yell, “Stop choking him, bro!” But only after another officer tugs at the cop’s shirt – a move that has received praise from officials for some reason.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the man who was attacked by police suffered any serious injuries – but he was able to get up on his own after the cop got off of him.

The officer, who was identified by the New York Daily News and other local media outlets as David Afanador, was one of several seen in the video attempting to detain 35-year-old Ricky Bellevue, who has a history of mental illness, according to family members.

It’s still not exactly clear what provoked the officer to attack the man.

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Although the NYPD has already released body camera footage that shows at least 11 minutes of the interaction, it’s not exactly clear what happened between officers and Bellevue. In the police body cam video, you can see three men pacing back and forth and they are – at times – shouting at the officers. But at one point, the officers rushed the Black man and the ensuing struggle lasts for about 30 seconds.

In the aftermath, one officer’s body camera video captured him explaining the situation to a woman who turned up at the scene and said she was a relative of the man who had been handcuffed, and that he was mentally ill.

“They were all talking all types of crazy stuff to us and we did nothing,” he said. “What changed everything is when he grabbed something and squared up and was going to hit my officer.”

Some officials have spoken out in praise of officers who ‘intervened’ to stop the chokehold.

Even though the police who intervened was just doing what he should be doing, officials are praising him for his actions.

“The officer who intervened to stop his colleague did exactly the right thing,” Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday night. “I commend him. That is what we need to see from all our officers.”

The Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea, said in a statement that “a full investigation is still underway, but there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary.”

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor De Blasio tweeted: “This is the fastest I have ever seen the NYPD act to discipline an officer….This is how it needs to be.”

Although chokeholds have long been banned by the NYPD, they’re still commonly used.

Credit: David Dee Delgado / Getty Images

Although the NYPD has long had an official policy against chokeholds, they’ve still been commonly used. Their use has been especially controversial in the wake of the 2014 death of Eric Gardner, after an officer put him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him.

Meanwhile, at the city and state level – officials are trying to implement legal consequences for officers who continue to use chokeholds. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law a sweeping package of police accountability measures including a ban on chokeholds following protests over George Floyd’s killing.

The New York City Council just passed a law last week making it a criminal misdemeanor for an officer to use a chokehold during an arrest, regardless of the level of injury that chokehold may have inflicted. And a new state law named for Eric Garner, deemed the technique a felony offense if the officer gravely injured or killed a person in the course of using it. While chokeholds have long been banned in the city, the new measures add layers of potential punishment for rule-breaking cops. 

Family Of Andres Guardado Are Asking For The Autopsy Report Be Released

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Family Of Andres Guardado Are Asking For The Autopsy Report Be Released

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Update: On June 18, Andrés Guardado was shot and killed by officers of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The 18-year-old was working as a security guard at an auto mechanic shop when he was killed. Two weeks later, the family is demanding the autopsy report.

It’s been two weeks since Andrés Guardado was killed by LASD officers and the autopsy still hasn’t been released.

Guardado was working as a security guard for an auto repair shop when he was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. The death sparked protests in southern California demanding justice.

“He told me he was going to come back home and eat some tacos dorados, but he never came back home. My family and my community feel destroyed because we still don’t know anything. We don’t know what happened with my son,” said Elisa Guardado, Andrés’s mother, in Spanish during a press conference.

The family is demanding the release of Andrés’s autopsy, which has recently been delayed. A security hold was placed on the autopsy just two days after the head of the homicide bureau, Capt. Kent Wegener, said the autopsy would be released to the public. It’s been about a week and the family demands to see the autopsy for closure and to know what happened to their loved one.

Original: Friends and family are demanding answers after an 18-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy. The man, identified at Andrés Guardado, was working as a security guard when he was shot and killed by an LASD deputy. The killing has set off protests and national outrage.

Andrés Guardado was killed by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy and the community is demanding answers.

According to reports, Guardado was working as a security guard in Gardena, California when LASD officers drove by. The officers claim that Guardado was not wearing a security guard uniform when they drove by the auto repair shop and that he had a gun.

His death is sparking outrage in California because it is another example of police brutality. Protesters have taken to the streets in major cities demonstrating for weeks. The protesters are demanding severe police reform to save the lives of Black and brown people killed by the police.

The nation is taking notice and demanding some action to bring justice.

Those who knew Guardado are casting a lot of doubt on the story being pushed by the police. The case has drawn the attention of national and local politicians demanding something to be done to fully investigate Guardado’s death.

“Another day and another Black or Brown kid has been shot in the back by police,” Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán and Maxine Waters, both from Los Angeles, said in a joint statement. “These killings must stop. We demand it. The American people demand it.”

Videos of the store owner sharing what happened are circulating on social media.

According to the shop owner, the sheriffs came to the shop and took the tapes and recording equipment with the footage. This was done before a warrant was issued for the equipment. In the video, the shop owner shows the damage done to the cameras.

The shop owner claims that the officers were not wearing body cameras. Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva acknowledged the importance of all officers wearing body cameras.

The story from the police and the story from the shop owner and family are very different.

The discrepancies have led to protests against the police adding to the growing unrest from Americans against police brutality. States and cities across the country have started to take steps to wrangle in the numerous police departments.

“I firmly believe that an immediate and independent investigation must be conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) into this matter, and I urge the Sheriff’s Department to immediately and fully cooperate with this OIG independent investigation,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.

People are protesting to demand justice for Guardado.

As more and more people join in the fight to radically reform the police, the country gets closer to ending over-policing. Guardado is not the first and won’t be the last questionable killing of a person of color by police in the U.S. Rest in peace, Andres.

READ: Protests Erupt After Police Kill A Mexican-American Teenager In Mexico