WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Minister's Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity gathered Wednesday morning to call for a Winston-Salem police officer to be fired.
The push comes after video surfaced showing a 14-year-old student being held to the ground in the parking lot of Hanes Magnet Middle School with her hands held behind her back.
The group says the student had permission from her teacher to leave class and call her mother when she encountered Officer TB McCormick in the hallway. In a statement, the department said the officer was responding to a report of disorderly conduct.
The Minister's Conference says regardless of what led to the incident, it should have never escalated.
“We expect a fact dispute, I expect it. The cops are going to say something different than the mother. I expect that. The point is whatever the cops say, there’s nothing she could have said or done that would have warranted her treatment last Friday,” Dr. Carlton A.G. Eversley said.
A witness who lives near the school says he saw the student leave the building, followed by the officer and several other adults.
He began filming when he saw the student pulled to the ground by the officer.
“I would like for justice to be served for my child,” Tamkea McLean said Wednesday. “Every day I have to look up and look at my daughter traumatized by the things she is going through.”
The girl's mother said her daughter has not yet returned to school. The Minister's Conference said the officer involved should lose his job and they called on the department to do more sensitivity and de-escalation training.
“De-escalation is the professional responsibility of law enforcement. They are sworn to serve and protect, not abuse and traumatize,” Bishop Todd Fulton said.
According to the police department, McCormick has been trained in de-escalation and bias-free policing. They wrote in a statement that he has never been accused of using excessive force.
The department said they have asked the student to come in for an interview to explain what happened, but they are still waiting to hear back from the family.
Right now McCormick is assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau and is not serving as an SRO in any school pending the outcome of an administrative review.