[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY, ASSAULT OF A MINOR, TERRORISM, TRAUMA, CHOKING]
This latest incident proves once and for all that black people in the U.S. don't need to do anything to provoke my fellow white people to violence. I'm talking about the 15-year-old girl who was sitting in class and got thrown from her seat and violently dragged and restrained by a white school security guard.
The video is disturbing and I'm not going to put it here because black individuals have explicitly requested that videos like this not be spread around all willy-nilly, especially if they auto-play, because it's triggering for them to have to see their own (and their CHILDREN) attacked and brutalized by white people over and over.
The following is a graphic description of the video:
There are actually two videos going around right now - a short version and a long-form version that shows everything leading up to the incident and more after. In the long-form version, you can see how a student is trying to covertly film the security officer approaching the seat of a black girl who is sitting unmoving in her seat, slouched over and staring at the front of the class. She is not belligerent at all and does not appear to speak or even acknowledge the approach of the officer. Maybe that's what enraged the asshole. But belligerent or disrespectful or not, no child should ever be handled in this manner, ever.
The most the student does is move her arm and look at the officer when he touches her. Then, suddenly, he yanks on her arm hard enough to move her desk, then gets behind her and puts her in a stranglehold, wrapping his adult arm around her 15-year-old throat. He then literally reaches down to grab her legs or the bottom of her seat and THROWS her backward, violently, seat and all. You can see the girl flail in panic as she begins to fall and then hear the loud impact of the desk on the floor.
The officer then violently drags her away from the desk, taking the desk part of the way with her. He drags her by the leg so forcefully that she slides across the floor toward the front of the classroom. The video is then obscured by other desks as he restrains her on the floor.
During this incident, you can see how the other black students are cringing and shrinking down in their desks, afraid to do anything. On has his hand partially covering his face. They're probably already traumatized by shit like this and know they'll get the same or worse if they try to stop what's happening.
Everything about this video is heartbreaking and I feel a little sick from watching it over and over to get down every detail. I can't imagine how black people must feeling seeing shit like this constantly in real life.
The girl who was brutalized did nothing to deserve it. Her fellow students say she was not being disruptive and that she's a quiet person. Apparently, her crime was chewing gum and not leaving the classroom for that. And I've already seen my fellow white people say that she deserved it.
This combined with the visible fear of her classmates and the fact that her teacher did nothing makes me feel sick to my soul. These kids, and all black people in the U.S., have been terrorized by white people and police so bad. The officer in the video, Ben Fields, has a violent history, but the school hired him anyway. The school has banned him from any of their campuses, but that does little good now.
If you want to see the video, I recommend Color of Change for the short version (which comes with a petition to get Fields fired as a police officer), and the long version can be found on the National Association Against Police Brutality Facebook page.
This has to stop. Demand that it stops. Don't let anyone forget for a second that this is happening and that it has to stop.