Osceola County

Civil rights attorneys join family in call for justice after teen body-slammed by school officer

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Some of the country’s top civil rights attorneys were in Central Florida on Saturday, following the release of a cellphone video that shows a school resource officer slamming Taylor Bracey to the ground.

Attorneys Benjamin Crump and Natalie Jackson joined Bracey’s family on Saturday afternoon to call for justice and accountability.

“Doing this is hard for me,” said Monquell Bracey, father of the victim.

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Bracey spoke for the first time at a news conference led by activists demanding police reform within schools.

Watch the news conference here:

He spoke about the pain of learning his 16-year-old daughter didn’t “bump” her head, as school officials told him and his wife.

She was knocked unconscious after Liberty High School’s resource officer, Ethan Fournier, slammed her to the ground.

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“We’re not seeing guilty until proven innocent, but you have a video that gives you probable cause of assault and battery on a child,” Crump said.

Sheriff Marco Lopez stated in a news conference that the deputy was trying to prevent Bracey from fighting with another student.

But Lopez is leaving it up to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to determine whether the force Fournier used was justified.

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Taylor Bracey’s legal team, made up of Jackson and Crump, said any investigation should be led by a community task force.

“We’ve seen over and over again when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement gets involved, many times, there is nothing done, quite frankly,” Jackson said.