School girl


Video shows officer using full body force on sixth grader over milk

The school resource officer has resigned.


Sierra Juarez


Posted on Oct 24, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 12:41 am CDT

A New Mexico school resource officer has resigned after pushing an 11-year-old girl against a brick wall and then shoving her onto the ground.

A video of the officer using force against the student on Aug. 27 has circulated on Twitter. The footage shows officer Zach Christensen demanding the girl to “stop resisting.” The girl repeatedly says she is unable to follow the officer’s orders because he is physically restraining her and hurting her.

Christensen said one of the reasons the incidents started was because the girl, a sixth grader, had taken “too much milk” at the cafeteria, according to NBC News. The resource officer claimed she assaulted a school staff member, which the local police department later proved to be untrue.

The video also shows a school administrator trying to deescalate the situation. The administrator speaks out several times as the girl struggles to follow the officer’s directions.

“Officer Christensen, she is not a threat to yourself or others,” the administrator says in the video. “We are not going to use excessive force to get this done.”

Christensen is visibly agitated and aggressive in the video. He yells back, “We’re not excessive.”

The video has prompted conversation on social media about law enforcement’s use of excessive force, especially in schools.

“I’m deep in grief hearing this girl cry. It is such a daily toll to see men who are so tiny and weak on the inside be so willing to break every person around them, all so they don’t have to feel for one second that they’re not on top,” Twitter user @fannychoir tweeted.

The Farmington Police Department released a video on Facebook on Oct. 20 responding to the incident. Police Chief Steve Hebbe said the department has met with the girl’s family, apologized to the student, and has started reviewing its policies on school resource officers.

“Like many of you, I was shocked and angry when I watched this video,” Hebbe said. “There is no excuse for the way this girl was treated.”

The former school resource officer could face criminal charges.


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*First Published: Oct 24, 2019, 12:04 pm CDT