The Latest: Lawyer identifies officer seen in video
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into video showing a Baltimore school police officer hitting and kicking a young man inside a city school (all times local):
A lawyer has confirmed the identity of a Baltimore school police officer seen on video slapping and kicking a 16-year-old inside a school.
Attorney Mike Davey tells The Baltimore Sun (http://bsun.md/1LXDj5d) that client Anthony C. Spence of Baltimore thought the boy was trespassing on school grounds and questioned him. Davey said he could not go into specifics because of the ongoing investigation.
When The Associated Press attempted to contact the 44-year-old Spence by phone, the person who answered hung up.
According to the Sun, Spence was fired by the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office in 2003 after he and another deputy Tasered a man they mistook for a bank robber.
Maryland court records show that a protective order was filed against Spence in a 2011 domestic violence case.
Some child advocacy groups are demanding reform of Baltimore public school police policies after an officer was caught on video hitting and kicking a young man inside a school.
The Maryland Coalition to Reform School Discipline says the cellphone video shot Tuesday is evidence of problems requiring systemic reform.
The group includes the American Civil Liberties Union and the state public defender’s office. They say there have been several incidents of school police using unwarranted force against students.
Baltimore is the state’s only school district with its own police force. The coalition says the lack of outside oversight is unacceptable and potentially dangerous.
The officer and the school police chief have been placed on leave pending a criminal investigation by Baltimore city police.
Baltimore police are investigating after a school police officer was caught on video hitting and kicking a young man inside a city school.
City police spokesman T.J. Smith said in a statement released Wednesday that city police will handle the criminal investigation at school police acting chief Akil Hamm’s request. The two forces are separate agencies.
City school officials said in a statement that they are “vigorously investigating” the incident Tuesday at REACH Partnership School. Cellphone video shot by a student shows a school police officer slapping and kicking a young man while another officer stands by.
Officials have not identified the officers, but Hamm says both are on administrative leave with pay.
Hamm says the victim wasn’t a student at the school, but attorney Lauren Geisser says he’s a 10th grader there.