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New Mexico officer resigns after video shows him wrestling an 11-year-old girl to the ground

New Mexico police officer resigns after video shows him wrestling an 11-year-old girl to the ground ‘because she took too much milk from the lunchroom’

  • Officer Zachary Christensen stepped down after an internal use-of-force investigation was launched following the August 27 incident
  • Footage shows him pulling the 11-year-old girl’s backpack off and wrestling her to the ground as he tries to handcuff her
  • In the video he accused the girl of taking too much milk from the lunchroom and then brushing past the school principal, which he said prompted the attack  
  • The Farmington Police Chief Steven Hebbe said ‘there’s no excuse for the way this girl was treated’
  • The unidentified student suffered a concussion and has arm and shoulder pain due to the incident, according to the girl’s family who are taking legal action 

Officer Zachary Christensen stepped down after an internal use-of-force investigation was launched following the August 27 incident

Officer Zachary Christensen stepped down after an internal use-of-force investigation was launched following the August 27 incident

A New Mexico police officer has resigned after body camera footage shows him using excessive force on an 11-year-old girl who allegedly took too much milk from the lunchroom. 

Farmington police said Sunday that officer Zachary Christensen stepped down after an internal use-of-force investigation was launched following the August 27 incident at Mesa View Middle School.

The footage shows the middleschooler brushing past the principal following a verbal confrontation. Christensen is then seen pulling the girl’s backpack off and wrestling her to the ground as he tries to handcuff her.   

Farmington Police Chief Steven Hebbe said the behavior seen in the video did not comply with department standards and emphasized that ‘there’s no excuse for the way this girl was treated.’

Christensen reportedly said he tried to arrest the girl because ‘she went straight to the cafeteria, she took more milks than she was supposed to, she threw a milk on the ground. I mean, they try to say something she just walks off.’ 

The footage shows the middle school student brushing by the principal following a verbal confrontation (pictured)

The footage shows the middle school student brushing by the principal following a verbal confrontation (pictured)

Footage shows Christensen pulling the 11-year-old girl's backpack off

Footage shows Christensen pulling the 11-year-old girl’s backpack off

He then wrestles her to the ground as he tries to handcuff her while she resists

He then wrestles her to the ground as he tries to handcuff her while she resists 

The unidentified student suffered a concussion and has arm and shoulder pain due to the incident, according to the girl’s family who are now taking legal action. 

In the video, Christensen can be heard saying, ‘You can’t push him out of the way. I’ve had enough of this. You’re done. You’re not going to assault the principal,’ before he’s seen pinning girl against a wall and demanding she put her hands behind her back.

The girl can be heard crying and telling Christensen that he’s hurting her. 

He can be heard telling her multiple times, ‘Do not resist,’ as he attempted to handcuff her.   

School employees can be heard pleading with Christensen to lighten up on the girl, with one person heard saying he’s using ‘excessive force’.  

The child was not arrested and was picked up from school by her mother.

The Farmington Police Chief Steven Hebbe said 'there's no excuse for the way this girl was treated'

The Farmington Police Chief Steven Hebbe said ‘there’s no excuse for the way this girl was treated’

The unidentified student suffered a concussion and has arm and shoulder pain due to the incident, according to the girl's family who are now taking legal action

The unidentified student suffered a concussion and has arm and shoulder pain due to the incident, according to the girl’s family who are now taking legal action 

In the video, Christensen can be heard saying before the altercation: ‘We’re to the point where (school staff) can’t do anything, they can’t get any interventions in because she won’t listen to anything.’

He claims in the video that the girl has had behavioral issues at the school in the past.

‘There’s no excuse for the way this girl was treated,’ said Chief Hebbe. ‘As the chief of police, I am extremely disappointed that we failed to perform at our expected standards.’ 

An attorney for the girl’s family told KRQE News 13 that they intend to take legal action over the incident.  

‘While it is appreciated that the principal and vice-principal asked the officer to stop, there is a question as to what the administrators could have done to prevent this from occurring at all,’ attorney Mark Curnutt said in a statement to KRQE News 13. 



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