MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee school safety officer body slammed an 11-year-old student on a concrete floor, according to charging documents filed Tuesday that note surveillance video captured what happened.
Milwaukee prosecutors said in the court filing that Charles T. Smith, 60, initially said the student slipped on Feb. 1 at Lloyd Barbee Montessori School but relented when told about the video.
Smith told the arresting police officer that the student had been threatening him. But the officer noted in his report that Smith weighs more than 300 pounds and is nearly 6 feet tall, while the student weighs 90 pounds and 5 feet 2 inches tall.
The officer said in his report that Smith tried to bargain with him to avoid getting in trouble.
“I did what I had to do. Can you present this case or whatever you do and just tell them the facts are unfounded? You can do that. you guys can do anything,” the officer said Smith told him. “Just tell them that for me and it’ll be like I owe you one. You know what I’m saying?”
Smith made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon on a felony charge of physical abuse of a child. He was released from jail on his own recognizance as the case progresses and left court with his attorney without commenting.
Milwaukee Public Schools said in a statement its staff is cooperating with the investigation and that Smith “has been placed on immediate suspension pending final resolution to the matter.”
“Families have been notified of the allegation,” the statement said, adding that the school could not comment further.
It’s unclear what led to the confrontation between Smith and the student. The arresting officer said the video shows Smith pushing the student multiple times in a school hallway, but the student did not engage. The officer said the student tried going into a classroom and that’s when Smith picked him up “by the torso” and slammed him to the floor.
The officer said the student “suffered pain throughout his body” and swelling and bruising on his hip and forehead.
The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office said it can’t release the video because it’s evidence.