A lawyer has confirmed the identity of a Baltimore school police officer seen on video slapping and kicking a 16-year-old inside a school.
Attorney Mike Davey tells The Baltimore Sun that his client Anthony C. Spence of Baltimore thought the boy was trespassing on school grounds and questioned him. Davey said he could not go into specifics because of the ongoing investigation.
The 44-year-old Spence hung up when The Associated Press contacted him by phone.
The Spence and the department's chief are on administrative leave
City police have said they're in the early stages of a criminal investigation into the incident this week at REACH Partnership School. Officials say the acting chief for the city's school police department requested the investigation. Cellphone video shows the school police officer slapping and kicking a young man while another officer stands by.
According to the Sun, Spence was fired by the Baltimore City Sheriff's Office in 2003 after he and another deputy tasered a man they mistook for a bank robber.
Maryland court records show that a protective order was filed against Spence in a 2011 domestic violence case.
Some child advocacy groups are demanding reform of Baltimore public school police policies after an officer was caught on video.
The Maryland Coalition to Reform School Discipline says the cellphone video shot Tuesday is evidence of problems requiring systemic reform.
The group includes the American Civil Liberties Union and the state public defender's office. They say there have been several incidents of school police using unwarranted force against students.
Baltimore is the state's only school district with its own police force. The coalition says the lack of outside oversight is unacceptable and potentially dangerous.
The officer and the school police chief have been placed on leave pending a criminal investigation by Baltimore city police.