Video: Florida deputy yanks middle school student's head

Sheriff says school resource deputy is off the job

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A video that shows a school resource deputy yanking a girl by the back of her head is circulating online and now, that deputy is out of a job, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office released the name of the deputy in the video Saturday.

Officials said his name is Harry Reid, and he was hired by the Orange County Sheriff's Office in February as a direct hire from a law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

The footage, which was posted to Facebook, shows a middle school student screaming and crying as two deputies maneuver her hands behind her back.

As the deputies are escorting the girl away, Reid grabs the back of her head with his left hand and yanks it, causing her neck to bend back, according to the video.

More than a dozen bystanders who saw the yank begin yelling in protest.

"I got that on camera," one boy said repeatedly, before displaying his middle finger toward the deputy.

Reid then addressed the crowd.

"Back off. I am tired of everybody here. Everybody needs to chill out," the deputy says.

After the girl is placed in the back of a patrol car, Reid yells at the crowd once again. He had his baton on his hand.

"This is because you're silly. You're all stupid little children, stupid little children," Reid said.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said that, based on the video, Reid used an inappropriate amount of force on the girl.

"I am very upset by what I saw on that video," Mina said. "The actions of this deputy appear to violate some of the most important values and expectations that I have set as sheriff. The type of behavior I witnessed on the video and on body-worn camera video will not be tolerated."

Tiffany Hampton said her son showed her the video because the deputy involved is the same one who once arrested him and when she saw the footage, she was shocked.

"The way that he handled her, that was just not right at all," Hampton said.

Mina said he's disappointed, upset and outraged.

"There's no doubt in mind that his actions were excessive and I didn't see the need for him to put his hands on a middle school child. To me, it looked like he lost control and his actions were totally inappropriate," Mina said.

Sheriff's Office officials said the child was briefly detained and then released to a parent but not arrested. 

Records show someone reported a large fight among Westridge Middle School students at an apartment complex Thursday. The fight stemmed from school and was about an ongoing issue between two groups of girls, according to a report.

Body camera video from the other deputy at the scene shows the child was being held by three other girls when law enforcement officers responded.

Mina said the fight was over by the time deputies arrived. Other law enforcement officers handled the situation appropriately but Reid did not, according to the sheriff.

"I can't get into his head, but I can say there was no need to use that type of force, to pull out that baton. What I saw and what my staff saw was a person that was out of control and basically lost it and I can't have that at the Orange County Sheriff's Office and I certainly can't have that around our students," Mina said.

Hampton agreed that the situation should have been handled differently.

"(I was bothered by) the way that he pulled her hair after she was already with her hands behind her back and then him putting out that baton like he was going to hit those kids with it and then calling them names. Like, I thought officers were supposed to deescalate situations and I feel like he made it worse," she said.

Reid was removed from the school Friday morning and has since been terminated. The Sheriff's Office professional standards section will conduct an investigation and the results will be sent to the State Attorney's Office for review to determine whether charges will be filed, Mina said.

Even with Reid off the job, Hampton worries about the lasting impact on the students who saw the incident.

"These kids are now scared. These kids are angry. They are terrified and they shouldn't have to go through that. I'm sorry, no kid should have to go through that," she said.

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