Zachary Christensen stepped down after an internal use-of-force investigation was launched following the incident that took place on August 27, at Mesa View Middle School.
A New Mexico police officer handed in his resignation after his body camera captured him slamming a sobbing 11-year-old schoolgirl onto the ground for allegedly taking too much milk from the cafeteria. On Sunday, Farmington police revealed that Zachary Christensen had stepped down after an internal use-of-force investigation was launched following the incident that took place on August 27, at Mesa View Middle School reports New York Post. After seeing Christensen's reaction in the video, Police Chief Steven Hebbe stated that the officer's behavior in no way complied with the department standards, saying, "There's no excuse for the way this girl was treated."
In the shocking footage, the unidentified middle schooler is seen brushing past the school's principal following a verbal confrontation. On her way out, Christensen marched behind her, hauled her bag away and yelled repeatedly, "You’re done!". He also said, "You can't push him out of the way. I've had enough of this. You're done. You're not going to assault the principal." Another camera angle showed him violently pushing the girl against the wall. He then hoisted her left leg to slam her to the ground. The scared and hurt child kept crying and begging the officer to "get off of me." But her pleas fell on deaf ears as Christensen kept screaming "Do not resist!" at the girl and continued to grapple with her.
A black child with disabilities was slammed to the ground by a Farmington, NM school resource officer for taking too much milk from the cafeteria. https://t.co/72UKNLE1H9— Nick Estes (@nick_w_estes) 23 October 2019
At one point he was even seen pushing the side of the girl's head into the ground. Despite her saying, "You’re hurting me!" the police officer did not stop. Christensen eventually calmed down after one of the school employees warned him of using "excessive force." Later on, the officer reportedly confessed that he was trying to arrest the girl because "she went straight to the cafeteria, she took more milks than she was supposed to, she threw a milk on the ground. I mean, they try to say something she just walks off."
Nothing ever justifies youth, especially of color, to be abused by law enforcement excessive force. https://t.co/sDs8MXA5zL— Bob Bennett (@VicOvDepression) 23 October 2019
According to Daily Mail, the student suffered a concussion and arm and shoulder pain following the incident. The video which was released by the Farmington police department showed Christensen saying, "We're to the point where (school staff) can't do anything, they can't get any interventions in because she won't listen to anything," right before the altercation. He further claimed that the girl had displayed behavioral issues at the school in the past to justify his actions.
However, Chief Hebbe didn't support this behavior and slammed the officer for using excessive force on a minor. "There's no excuse for the way this girl was treated," he said. "As the chief of police, I am extremely disappointed that we failed to perform at our expected standards." Speaking to KRQE News 13, the family's attorney, Mark Curnutt stated that the family intended to pursue legal actions. "While it is appreciated that the principal and vice-principal asked the officer to stop, there is a question as to what the administrators could have done to prevent this from occurring at all," said Curnutt.