A surveillance video has been released of a school police officer striking a 13-year-old student with her baton in Baltimore. Taking place at the Vanguard Middle School, the clip shows an initial altercation between the officer and a girl identified as Starr. With the guard pulling Starr’s hair at a point during the altercation, the girl’s cousin Diamond intervened, and was struck with the officer’s baton in the head. She reportedly need 10 stitches.
“Starr said they was changing classes,” Vanessa Ward, Starr’s grandmother told local news station WBAL-TV. “The officer was hollering at her and said, ‘Little girl, get down here.’ And so Starr said, ‘My name is not little girl, it’s Starr.’ Starr came on down the steps, and Starr said that’s when the officer grabbed her.”
Tashona Neals, mother of Diamond, the 13-year-old who was hit with the baton, claims that the school did not immediately notify her of her daughter’s injuries. Starr was also reportedly sprayed in the face with pepper spray. After having their injuries treated at a nearby hospital, the two girls were charged with charged with assaulting the officer, but charges were dropped after authorities reviewed the video.
“The state’s attorney saw the tape and picture of my daughter, and we never even made it into the courtroom. They came out and said it is being dismissed,” Neals said.
The officer in the video has been reassigned to desk duty, while Starr and Diamond were suspended and sent to alternative schools for troubled children. An internal investigation of the incident is underway.