ACLU Statement Regarding Video Showing La Mesa Police Officer Slamming A Handcuffed Student To The Concrete Sidewalk

Law enforcement should only use the degree of force necessary to maintain public safety.

The ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties is gravely disturbed by the recently posted video of the January 19 incident at Helix Charter High School in which a La Mesa police officer is shown slamming a handcuffed student to a concrete sidewalk. No one should be treated this way. Based on available footage, a less violent means of intervention could have been utilized by the officer. Law enforcement should only use the degree of force necessary to maintain public safety.

This deplorable incident exemplifies widespread concerns about over-policing in schools, it challenges schools to re-evaluate their policies regarding the presence of law enforcement on campus, and it underscores the need for ongoing and effective de-escalation training for police officers generally.  The La Mesa Police Department has reassigned the officer involved; and while this is an important first step, it is not the extent of their accountability. The ACLU urges school and law enforcement leadership to respond to the serious concerns raised by students, parents and community members, and to do so in an open and transparent manner.