San Antonio Cop Fired After Body Slamming 12-Year-Old

by Blake Neff

A San Antonio, Texas police officer who was caught on camera body slamming a 12-year-old girl has been fired from his job.

Joshua Kehm, an officer for the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) police department, became the subject of viral outrage last week when a video surfaced of him picking up sixth-grader Janissa Valdez, tossing her to the ground, and then handcuffing her as she lies motionless. The incident itself occurred March 29.

Kehm was reportedly intervening to prevent a fight between Valdez and another girl, though Valdez claimed she wasn’t attacking the girl when the officer picked her up. Valdez also claimed the body slam briefly knocked her out.


“We understand that situations can sometimes escalate to the point of requiring a physical response; however, in this situation we believe that the extent of the response was absolutely unwarranted,” SAISD superintendent Pedro Martinez said in a statement Monday. “We will not tolerate this behavior.”

Martinez also said Kehm had originally failed to report the incident, and once he did, he provided an account of events that clashed with the video evidence.

Kehm had only been an officer with SAISD’s police department for about a year.

Kehm’s termination is just the most recent of several controversies involving police allegedly using excessive force against students. In October 2015, Columbia, South Carolina policeman Ben Fields was fired after he tipped over a desk a student was seated in and then dragged her across the room. In March, two Baltimore policemen were suspended and charged with assault after a video surfaced of one of them slapping and kicking a student.

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