Recorded Scuffle Between Teenage Girl and Officer Prompts Video Review

A fight between a female Delaware high school student and male school police officer that was recorded on video and posted online has prompted a review by state police.

In the video (which has profanity), the student can be seen pushing the uniformed school resource officer in the chest inside Glasgow High School as staff try to break up a scuffle between students.

The officer, a Delaware state detective assigned to the 1,063-student school in Newark, Delaware, then grabs the teen by the neck, swings her around and throws her to the ground. The girl’s head and neck narrowly miss hitting a flight of stairs.

Moments later, the girl appears to resist being arrested and continues to fight off the officer as he tries to subdue her. She eventually gets back up and then is thrown down again -- this time on the steps.

The 1:05-minute snapshot of the altercation was uploaded to YouTube last week and has garnered thousands of views and dozens of outraged comments. Some commenters said the trooper was just doing his job. Others contend excessive force was used.

Christina School District spokesperson Wendy Lapham tells the fight took place on May 13 at 12:45 p.m. and stemmed from an argument between a male and female student. Officials, however, only learned about the existence of the video on Wednesday morning when contacted by the media.

“The district was made aware of it, and we notified the police department where the officer is from and our human resources department,” Lapham said. She said the district is deferring to police on the incident.

Delaware State Police have not received complaints about the officer’s conduct or the arrest, Cpl. John Day said. The video will be reviewed by a supervisory officer who will determine whether to forward the matter on to the Office of Professional Responsibility. He said the review should not be characterized as an internal investigation.

Three students were arrested and charged with misdemeanors, Day said. The girl involved in the scuffle with the trooper is charged with, among other crimes, resisting arrest and offensive touching of a law enforcement officer.

The officer remains on duty in the high school.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

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