GPD investigating SRO’s reported use of force on campus

A Gainesville Police Department (GPD) spokesman has confirmed that an internal investigation is underway in connection with a School Resource Officer’s (SRO) use of force on a middle school campus. Meanwhile, an investigation into a similar incident at a metro Atlanta school is also underway.

The incident, which was captured on video and circulated on social media, shows the officer, who is assigned to the school, apparently punching a student while trying to break up a fight involving students. This happened at Gainesville Middle School West on McEver Road earlier this month.

“We are aware of the video,” spokesman Kevin Holbrook said Thursday morning. “As with all use of forces, we are conducting a review. We understand that some people are reacting to or jumping to conclusions regarding the video, but we look at all the information to make an impartial finding. I learned not to make rash judgement based on third party video the hard way.”

Lt. Holbrook added “It is my understanding that the officer was attempting to break up a fight, that one of them had the other by the head, and that is when the allegation occurred. We are working with all parties involved to gather more information and videos.”

In addition, Georgia News Network is reporting that the DeKalb County School District is investigating reports that an SRO used excessive force on students. In one incident, a student at DeKalb Alternative School reports the officer hit her head and knocked her unconscious. The officer was placed on administrative leave earlier this month. No charges have been filed.