Two former high school security guards recently filed a lawsuit against Shelby County Schools after being fired from Northwest Prep Academy.
In 2013, Henry Todd and Richard Pinner tackled an 17-year-old African-American girl who was pregnant at the time. Both Todd and Pinner believe they did not use excessive force on the unidentified teen.
Todd and Pinner claim that the teen used profanity and resisted arrest. However, the surveillance camera shows the two aggressively slamming her to the ground on her stomach. The teen was issued a juvenile summons for her part in the incident and the two guards were fired.
After being fired from their post, Todd and Pinner filed the lawsuit claiming that their termination was a result of racial discrimination. The suit, filed in 2013, has only now gone to trial.
In court on Monday, a teacher testified that he heard the school's principal say, "If those white officers hurt my Black babies, I'm going to have them fired," but the former principal testified that was not true.
Shelby County Schools insisted the officers were fired for non-discriminatory reasons.
“Above all, we are committed to ensuring safe learning environments for all of our students,” the district said in a statement. “We believe these individuals abused their positions of trust and compromised the safety of students, making them unfit for service with Shelby County Schools. Thus, their employment was terminated. We expect this decision to be upheld in the upcoming federal court trial.”
No attorneys representing the school district or the guards have commented on the trial.
(Photo: Bill Varie/Getty Images)