School Climate & Safety

Baltimore School Officer Charged With Assault for Slapping Teen in Video

By Evie Blad — March 09, 2016 1 min read
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A Baltimore school police officer shown slapping, kicking, and swearing at a teenager in an online video and another who stood by as it happened now face criminal charges for their actions.

Anthony Spence, who the Baltimore Sun previously identified as the officer seen hitting the teen boy in an online video that circulated last week, was charged Tuesday with second-degree assault, second-degree child abuse by a custodian and misconduct in office, the Baltimore Police Department said in a Facebook statement Wednesday. The other officer, Saverna Bias, has been charged with 2nd degree assault and misconduct in office, the statement says. Both officers turned themselves in Tuesday night, the statement says.

Spence, Saverna, and Baltimore Schools Police Chief Marshall Goodwin are all on leave pending the results of internal and criminal investigations of the incident that happened outside of REACH Partnership School last week.

Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton said this week he plans to review how the district screens and trains officers employed by its in-house police department.

The Baltimore Sun reported last week that Spence “was one of two Baltimore sheriff’s deputies who were fired in 2003 after a wrongful Taser attack that sparked outrage in the Hispanic community.” The officer was also previously the subject of a court-issued protective order requested by his girlfriend, the paper reported.

More than a dozen school administrators attended a school board meeting Tuesday night to show support for school police, the Sun reports.

“If our kids are not safe, they cannot learn,” Friendship Academy of Engineering & Technology Principal Katrice Wiley said after recounting how she found a gun in her school’s parking lot.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.