SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) – The mother of a Broome High School student is suing Spartanburg County School District Three, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, an unnamed principal and an unnamed school resource officer after the 15-year-old was forcefully taken into custody by an SRO at the school, according to the lawsuit filed on May 20.
The arrest was made on May 3.
This was the report that the SRO wrote about the incident:
“During lunch today we had a large number of students migrating to the cafeteria and gym lobby area. This is a high indicator that a fight may happen. School administration and staff were in key areas observing the large group. Nothing happened and the group dispersed to the courtyard. Two student names were given to the school principal. One student was located, complied with the principal, and went to the front office for a conference. The second student was located in the courtyard, sitting on a brick wall. Several requests made by the principal were met with extreme vulgar profanity. I was called by the principal to assist. I made several more requests for the student to come to the office. Every time was met by more of the same profanity. A large group of the student body were now gathering around the disturbance caused by the student's vulgar behavior. I informed the student that if she did not comply I would have to place her under arrest. The student replied with more profanity so I informed her she was now under arrest for disorderly conduct. The student resisted my lawful arrest so minimal force was used to restrain her. The student's parents were notified, she was charged with disorderly conduct, and released into their care.”
Multiple people recorded video of the incident, which showed the girl cursing as the deputy wrangled her to the ground. The girl can also be heard shouting about being unable to breathe.
The lawsuit claims the “resource officer without probable cause picked (the teen) up and slammed her to the hard surface ground and then put his weight on her body in such a violent fashion that (the teen) was rendered unconscious and suffered bruises and injuries to her person.”
The lawsuit is seeking damages for claims of false arrest and imprisonment, assault and battery, gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and defamation.
Below is the statement issued by Spartanburg County District Three spokesperson Aly Myles about the incident and the lawsuit:
“There was an incident at Broome High School that is currently under investigation by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. Because the student who was involved is a juvenile, we’re unable to go into too many details about the situation. However, the video is only part of what happened and does not share the incidents leading up to the arrest or afterward.
Broome High School’s administration and staff were present for the situation and it was caught on our security cameras. The principal applied appropriate discipline for refusal to obey an administrator and staff, as well as using extreme profanity, threats and attempting to assault the officer.
As far as a potential lawsuit goes, we cannot comment on pending litigation.”
The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said they do not comment on pending litigation.