FARMINGTON, NM — Zach Christensen, a white police officer from New Mexico, can be seen on body camera footage assaulting an 11-year old Black girl and slamming her to the ground. The violent incident allegedly came after the girl threw milk in the cafeteria at her middle school.
According to reports, on August 27, the girl threw milk on the ground in the school cafeteria when she was told that she could only take one. The girl then walked away but Christensen, a school resource officer, followed her.
“You’re done, you’re not going to assault the principal. Put your arms behind the back!” Christensen can be heard in the video repeatedly saying while the struggle ensued.
In the video, he grabbed her and pushed her to the wall then slammed her to the ground while the girl was crying and screaming, “Get off me! Ow! You’re hurting me. You can’t give me all these commands and expect me to do every single one of them at once.”
Another school employee can be heard trying to stop Christensen and said, “Officer Christensen, you need to allow her to stand up. Officer Christensen, she is not a threat to yourself or others at this moment.”
“She is,” he replied. “We’re at the point of arrest.”
“I understand that, sir, but we are not going to use excessive force to get this done,” the other school employee said, to which Christensen replied: “We’re not excessive!”
Christensen later resigned after an investigation into the incident found that he violated the department’s policy for use of force. The supervisor who reviewed but did not flag the behavior as unacceptable was also reassigned.
Meanwhile, the 11-year old student suffered minor scrapes and bruises and was treated for a minor concussion.