A disturbing video has gone viral, bringing attention to the brutal beating of a high school student at the hands of a Florida deputy, WFTV reported.
According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the unidentified girl at Liberty High School was having a physical altercation with another student when Deputy Ethan Fournier, who serves as the school’s resource officer, intervened. Footage of the encounter shows as he tackled her head first to the ground and knocked her unconscious before placing her in handcuffs. She was reportedly treated at the scene and released.
The viral video initially caught the attention of the sheriff’s office but has since been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who will determine whether Fournier — who is out on administrative leave — must be hit with any criminal charges.
“Today the sheriff’s office received information from school officials at Liberty High School about a video posted on social media depicting one of our School Resource Officers in a confrontation with a student…,” a statement read. “Our office is in the initial stages of our investigation. We are collecting video, witness statements and relevant information related to the incident.”
Demeatra Bodie, the mother of a Liberty High School student who witnessed the incident, questioned whether Fournier’s excessive use of force against the student was necessary. “If we were to do something like that to our kids, we will be in jail,” she said. “No questions asked…we’re going to jail until they figure it out.”
“We know that they’re there for safety reasons, but they need to be trained on working with kids because kids are going to give you problems,” she continued. “They give us problems as parents, but we’re not going to just beat on our kids and knock them unconscious.”
Sheriff Marcos Lopez does not condone officers’ violent behavior but says that Fournier is innocent until proven guilty.