University police officer placed on leave after dragging female student down steps

Incident described by university leaders as ‘disturbing’ and investigation launched

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 25 September 2020 23:39 BST
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A Maryland university put a campus police officer on leave after he was caught on video dragging a Black female student down a set of steps.
A Maryland university put a campus police officer on leave after he was caught on video dragging a Black female student down a set of steps. (iStock)

A Maryland university put a campus police officer on leave after he was caught on video dragging a Black student down a set of steps.

The “disturbing” incident took place at historically Black university Bowie State after police confronted a group of students playing music outside a dorm.

In the video, widely shared on social media, the Black officer is seen first grabbing a male student by the arm as they are followed by a young woman.

“Stop grabbing him like that, he is cooperating,” the woman can be heard yelling.

As the group approached a set of steps the officer turned and grabbed the woman by the collar and sleeve.

With the crowd around them screaming and shouting the officer pulled her down the steps and led her to a police car.

“Out of great concern for our students and protecting the integrity of our community, I have immediately initiated an investigation into the matter. The officer involved is on administrative leave pending further investigation,” said Bowie State President Aminta Breaux.

Neither student was arrested or charged the university confirmed.

“Bowie State University is a community that embraces strong values of respect and civility in our interactions with one another," added Breaux.

"We have high expectations for appropriate behaviour at all times from all members of our community, students and staff alike.

“We are committed to community policing in a manner that protects the safety of everyone on our campus, and will work to ensure that those we employ share our values.

“Our goal is to assure that our students feel safe on campus.”

One student said she felt the police had been heavy handed in their actions.

“I felt like the officer was very barbaric when it came to his reaction to the situation,” Casandra Williams told WUSA9.

“And I felt everything was pushed out of proportion given the severity of what was going on wasn't really that serious to put his hands on a female, a black female at that.”

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