Baltimore Police investigating slapping incident

Posted at 11:42 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 23:42:48-05

The Baltimore City Police Department is now conducting a criminal investigation into the incident in which a teenager was slapped and kicked by a school police officer -- on camera.

All sides agree it was unacceptable behavior by a School Police officer on Tuesday morning outside the Reach Partnership School in Northeast Baltimore.

But there appears to be a lot of disagreement about what led up to it.

Wednesday morning, the acting school police chief, Akil Hamm, said:  “It was not a student at Reach.”

See also: Acting Baltimore City Schools police chief addresses video

And he went even further -- calling the student who was slapped, and the student who shot video of the incident two "unknown citizens.”

“There was a call for service for an intruder in the building. And our officers were called because of the intruder. And this happened after the officers escorted the two unknown citizens outside the building,” Hamm said.

But Wednesday night the attorney for the teen who was slapped in the video said exactly the opposite:  “Based on the evidence that we have on hand we are certain that he was a student at that belongs at that school.  He's on the roster,” said the attorney, Charles Gilman.

Gilman also speculated as to why the school system might try to say the student does not attend reach partnership. 

“Part of what we believe at this point is that you know they don't have a defense to what happened," Gilman said. "So they're going on the offensive and trying to change the roles here they're taking the victim and turning him into the culprit,” he said.

No charges were filed against either of the teens. The city police investigation will determine whether any should be filed against the school police officers.

“Regardless of whether the child belonged there or not in our contention is at this point and our investigation reveals that he did belong there you apprehend a child or trespasser. You don't smack one,” Gilman said.

The regular school police chief, Marshall Goodwin, has been placed on paid administrative leave, along with the two officers you can see in the video.

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