The mother of a teenage Florida high school student who was captured being slammed onto a concrete ground by a school resource officer on January 26, has said her daughter is still reeling from the effects of the impact as she suffers headaches and memory loss.
In the video of the incident which occurred at the Liberty High School in Osceola County and has since gone viral, Deputy Ethan Fournier – a ten-year veteran – can be seen aggressively slamming 16-year-old Taylor Bracey to the ground in an attempt to handcuff her. Bracey, whose head appears to hit the concrete ground, subsequently remains motionless while screams are heard in the background. Fournier was reportedly called to the school to break up a fight Bracey was involved in.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, said the teen was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion as a result, ABC News reported.
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“He’s supposed to be trained,” Crump said. “It’s foreseeable that children may get in altercations at school. You’re not supposed to knock them unconscious. You’re supposed to be the person who knows how to de-escalate the situation. It’s just mind-boggling.”
“This is the adultification of Black children — that our children are seen as adults. No, no, this was a child,” he added.
Jamesha Bracey, Taylor’s mother, also said the incident has left her daughter traumatized, adding that she is still unwell. “Experiencing headaches, blurry vision, memory loss, having trouble sleeping on and off, and just traumatized by the ordeal,” she told WFTV.
Meanwhile, Bracey also said the fight Fournier was called to break up did not even get physical in the first place. “They had a verbal altercation. They never touched each other,” she said. “They never fell, you know, before the police officer came and slammed her to the ground.”
Following the incident, Osceola County Sheriff Marco Lopez announced Fournier has been placed on paid administrative while they investigate the case. He also said they had handed over investigations to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to ensure “no one can say that we are looking out for our own,” WESH reported.
Crump, however, registered his disappointment with the case being transferred to the FDLE.
“It didn’t seem like the sheriff’s department was outraged like many people around America were outraged,” he told WFTV. “And so right now, we’re demanding justice and accountability, on every level. Every parent can only imagine the pain and trauma that this family is going through after seeing their daughter get treated that way by law enforcement.”
The State Attorney’s Office will decide whether or not to file charges against Fournier once the investigations by the FDLE are complete.
“We demand that this officer be terminated because this is unacceptable that you can do this to our children and not be held accountable,” Crump told CBS News. “And we also want him to be charged with aggravated assault and battery on a child, because Taylor was a child, he was a grown man.”