Community demands answers after video shows school officer body slam teen girl at Lancaster campus

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Community members are demanding answers after a school resource officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was captured on video body-slamming a teenage girl to the ground at Lancaster High School.

Video taken roughly two weeks ago shows the student getting pinned down as the officer works to restrain her. The officer had slammed the girl to the ground just moments before.

The student was eventually detained and removed from the school by the officer.

The student involved in the scuffle with the officer joined her mother, fellow students, activists and civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom Wednesday afternoon at a news conference outside the school.

"What we have heard from the sheriff's department is that my client was a 'threat.' What was the 'threat'? We haven't been told specifically," Bloom said.

Bloom says her client told her all she did was walk up to the school resource officer and question him why he was looking at her a certain way and if everything was OK.

Soon after, Bloom says her client claims things quickly turned violent.

Bloom says sheriff's officials told her foul language was used in the altercation and things escalated from there.

"My client says she didn't use any foul language, it was her friend. At any rate, the foul language was not a threat," Bloom said.

Bloom claims her client attempted to walk away from the officer despite his commands for her not to leave.

"The sheriff's deputy says she was walking away from him and that's why he had to take her down. That is not a justification to take down a child. It is not a justification to take down an adult," Bloom said.

The school district issued the following statement:

"The District, in conjunction with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, is reviewing the incident. The District and Sheriff Department have a shared commitment to ensure the safety of all our students at all our schools."

Bloom says she's looking at all legal options for her client, including filing a civil suit against the district and the officer.

"The only justification for physical violence, under the law, is if the officer or another person is being physically threatened with bodily injury or death," Bloom said. "A teenager simply walking away does not meet that criteria."

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