A Texas district attorney will investigate a school police officer’s takedown of a middle school student, which was captured in video described as disturbing by school officials, officials said Thursday.
"It was alarming to watch that video," Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said Thursday. LaHood said he wants to get a clearer picture of what occurred, including whether there are other videos of the incident.
The video shows an officer identified as Joshua Kehm body slamming sixth-grader Janissa Valdez at Rhodes Middle School on March 29.
Kehm declined to comment, and deferred to the state police association the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas. The group said Thursday: “This is an ongoing investigation and he is fully cooperating with the investigation."
Kehm was placed on leave Wednesday morning after the San Antonio Independent School District learned about the video Tuesday night, a district spokesperson said. The district is conducting its own investigation, and after that is done the district attorney’s office will begin its probe.
“"If his [Kehm's] actions are outside Texas Penal code, he will be held accountable,” LaHood said. If Kehm were to face charges, it could be a felony because the victim is under the age of 14, he said.
Janissa suffered a bump to her head. She told NBC station WOAI that the incident occurred as other students gathered in anticipation that she and another girl might fight.
"I was going up to her to tell her let's go somewhere else so we could talk, but that's when the cop thought I was going at her," Janissa told the station. "I wasn't going to do anything," Janissa said.