LA MESA, Calif. – A high school student in La Mesa who was suspended by administrators and was arrested after she refused to leave campus, police said Sunday.
Helix High School staff called police for assistance at about 1:20 p.m. Friday when the 17-year-old girl would not comply with directions to leave school grounds, La Mesa Chief of Police Walt Vasquez said in a statement.
An officer tried to get the student to leave voluntarily, then ordered her to do so. She refused to cooperate, Vasquez said, and the officer arrested her and placed her in handcuffs.
“As they were walking, the student became non-compliant on two separate occasions and made an attempt to free herself by pulling away from the officer,” Vasquez said. “To prevent the student from escaping, the officer forced the student to the ground.”
“After the student agreed to quit resisting and attempting to escape, the officer assisted her up and walked her to his patrol vehicle.”
The student received “minor abrasions” in the incident, Vasquez said.
She was taken to the La Mesa Police Department, where she was evaluated by paramedics and determined not to require treatment, he said.
The officer was not injured.
Video of the student being taken to the ground outraged family, friends and the community.
People called for the officer to be removed from patrolling the school district.
Several students stated they were going to walk out of Helix High School Monday morning and demand school officials take action.
“As I did with Lincoln high I will stand with these students at Helix High. I take every issue and situation I deal with personally but this time you messed with one of my babies that could’ve easily been my sister as the young lady who was hurt is my sisters friend. I’m angry and pissed off! We made San Diego school districts lives a living hell until we our demands were met. I will make Grossmont school district a living hell along with the Mesa Police Department until this officer is removed from every school in the San Diego County permanently!!!!” Aeiramique Meeka posted on Instagram.
Police are aware of and in possession of a video of the student being taken to the ground, Vasquez said.
“As is protocol with all incidents involving use of force, the La Mesa Police Department will be conducting a detailed review of the force used and of the entire incident,” he said. “Helix High School officials are also fully aware of the facts surrounding the incident.”