Two Officers Charged After A Video Catches Student Being Slapped
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Two city school officers are now facing charges after video shows one of them kicking and slapping a 16-year-old student.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has more.
The video, which has since gone viral, shows Officer Anthony Spence kicking and slapping a student as another officer looked on.
Now, Officer Spence is facing charges of felony second degree child abuse along with misdemeanor assault and misconduct.
The other officer involved, identified as Officer Saverna Bias is facing misdemeanor charges.
Officer Bias doesn't touch the student in the video, but according to charging documents, she says to Spence, "You need to smack him because he's got too much mouth."
"What took place is not consistent with our training, our rules and regulations," authorities said.
The incident happened on the REACH! Partnership campus last week.
And while school authorities have expressed outrage it took days for them to confirm the victim was a student and they have yet to explain why they suddenly placed the chief of school police on administrative leave.
There are also concerns about whether there were warning signs and if these officers appropriately screened and monitored?
WJZ has been digging into their backgrounds.
According to published reports, the sheriff's department fired Spence in 2003 after an incident where the wrong suspect was shot with a taser.
In 2011, charging documents reveal an ex-girlfriend, who was also a school police officer, filed a protective order against him saying she called 9-1-1 after he hit her while she was in uniform and he was on duty. No charges were filed in that incident.
Officer Spence's lawyer declined to comment on past cases.
As for Officer Bias, she was charged with assault and intent to injure with a deadly weapon in 2011. According to charging documents, she threw a bottle at an ex-boyfriend. The charges were later dropped.
Officials say both officers were armed at the time of the encounter with the student.
The lawyer for the 16-year-old student tells WJZ on Wednesday that the chargers against the officers are appropriate and that she appreciates the State's Attorney's Office for acting swift in this matter.
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