*Two high school security officers in Memphis, Tennessee who were fired after slamming a 17-year-old, African American pregnant student to the floor are now claiming they were let go because they were white.
Officers Henry Todd and Richard Pinner were given their walking papers in February 2013 after security video caught them slapping the teen in the face and forcing her to the ground head first. They have since sued the Memphis City Schools district claiming reverse discrimination.
According to the lawsuit, the officers heard that their former principal, who is black, was overheard yelling, “‘I’m tired of you white officers beating up on my black babies. I’m going to have you fired.'”
Below, more details of the incident via the Commercial Appeal:
According to court documents, the officers, Henry Todd and Richard Pinner, contend they used appropriate force when arresting a student near the front entrance of Northwest Prep Academy — an alternative school — but were fired anyway because of their race.
The lawsuit states a female student entered the school building “in a belligerent manner using vile language” and Todd restrained her. She was suspended and left the building, the document states, but returned asking for a bus pass. While waiting, she allegedly “again became violent” before Pinner attempted to handcuff her.
School security video appears to show the student eating a snack before Pinner tries to handcuff her.
“The student jerked her arm with only one handcuff on the wrist,” the lawsuit state. “The student swung her arm with the partially loose handcuff attached.”
The officer “became concerned for his own safety and others from the loose swinging handcuff,” the complaint states, and he “used accepted law enforcement procedures to take the violent and dangerous student to the ground to complete handcuffing.”
Todd can be seen on video assisting Pinner while the student is against a wall and then on the ground.
According to the suit, the school’s principal, who is black, saw the student had been “taken down” and yelled, “‘I’m tired of you white officers beating up on my black babies. I’m going to have you fired.'”
The officers were initially suspended with pay and then fired the following business day.
The trial began Monday in U.S. District Court.
Watch security video of the incident below.