Mother of teen body-slammed by school officer says her daughter still has headaches, memory loss

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The mother of an Osceola County high school student who was slammed to the ground by a school resource officer this week says her daughter is still feeling the effects.

Video of what happened to 16-year-old Taylor Bracey has gone viral.

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It shows School Resource Officer Ethan Fournier slamming Bracey to the ground while trying to break up a fight.

Deputy Fournier is on paid administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the incident.

Bracey’s mother Jamesha says her daughter is still not doing well.

“Experiencing headaches, blurry vision, memory loss, having trouble sleeping on and off, and just traumatized by the ordeal.”

Bracey says the confrontation the deputy was trying to stop never became physical.

“They had a verbal altercation. They never touched each other,” Bracey says. “They never fell, you know, before the police officer came and slammed her to the ground.”

She says the next thing her daughter remembered was waking up in the principal’s office.

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Press Conference Liberty HS

Posted by Osceola County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Bracey says she only saw the video of Taylor being slammed for the first time Thursday after it had already gone viral. Her reaction? “Hurtful, angry, furious...like, are you kidding?”

Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump is now representing the teen and her family. He says there should be consequences for what happened.

“Because they can’t treat our daughters like this and think that it is acceptable,” Crump says. “We can’t send the message that this is okay.”

Crump thinks Fournier should be barred from working around kids after this incident.

“Teenagers often do get in disputes. Sometimes they have fights, but it doesn’t justify you slamming her to the ground and knocking her out. You’re supposed to be the adult.”

Crump says the decision by Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez to hand the case over to FDLE was disappointing.

“It didn’t seem like the sheriff’s department was outraged like many people around America were outraged,” Crump says. “And so right now, we’re demanding justice and accountability, on every level. Every parent can only imagine the pain and trauma that this family is going through after seeing their daughter get treated that way by law enforcement.”

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Once FDLE completes their investigation into the deputy’s actions, it’ll ultimately be up to the State Attorney’s Office to decide whether to file charges.

The Bracey family has scheduled a news conference for Saturday afternoon at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters to discuss the case.

Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.