Miami Dade Schools Police at North Miami High

This screen-captured frame of the video shows Miami-Dade Schools Police officer Lorvia Paul facing a group of students outside North Miami High School while grasping another student by his sweatshirt in what appears to be an arrest.

A Miami-Dade Schools officer will have some explaining to do after a video shows her losing her cool and threatening to shoot a group of Black students.

Miami-Dade Schools Police officer, identified by a Miami-Dade School Board spokesperson as Lorvia Paul, has been placed on administrative leave and is under internal investigation after her alleged involvement in an incident that occurred Friday outside North Miami High School.

A video capturing a portion of the altercation has recently surfaced on social media, depicting an enraged Paul threatening to shoot a group of student bystanders who surrounded the officer while she appeared to be arresting a student.

*WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE*

The video begins with loud, unintelligible voices coming from the students and Paul, who are seen in the frame along a sidewalk on the school’s perimeter. Paul can be heard going off on students nearby with profane language as she appeared to be arresting one of the students. The incident allegedly took place on Jan. 31. She was placed on administrative leave on Monday.

At one point in the video, Paul is seen detaining one of the students by grasping onto the back of his gray sweatshirt and leading him away from the crowd. She then glances back at the group of students behind her and can be heard irately shouting, “get the f--- away from me before I shoot all of ya a--” to the students.

Since the video has swept across social media feeds, it has ignited an apparent generational divide among Black youth and elders.

A Facebook post shared on Monday that contains the video of the incident has since erupted with an uproar of comments among older users justifying Paul’s actions, and younger users who oppose.

Some people defended Paul’s actions and blamed the students.

One mother wrote, “Kids today you don’t know what to expect they are nothinggggggggggg [sic] like us they rude and disrespectful I tell Niah a— all the time don’t make me shoot your a—.”

“Kids out of control and don't respect authority nowadays,” another user expressed.

Another added, “I don’t see the problem. These kids are animals.”

Others blamed the students’ parents.

“If you raised your kids properly s—- probably wouldn’t go like this fact of the matter is people are scared of these kids,” one man wrote.

A father shared, “My kids are taught to stay your a— back .. never know what’s gone [sic] happen .. don’t be a follower... she surrounded by kids Anything can do down..”

And others brought race into the debate.

A Black male user wrote, “Smh [sic]….. you give a black person a lil authority and this happens! Every time.”

“Humm is ok only because she is blk [sic],” a Hispanic user wrote.

On the flip side, younger users condemned the officer.

“Dead wrong!!! She's the only aggressive person. None of those kids in that moment were aggressive or threatening. Even the kid … she approached directly didn't respond in any negative or defensive manner. If she's threatened by the presence of a group kids walking then she's definitely has the wrong profession,” one woman wrote.

Another wrote, “Y’all sound dumb it’s no justifying this SHES IN THE WRONG! No matter what they did you don’t tell nobody child you will shoot them! Polices starting to OVER DO THEIR JOB!”

One user’s comment landed somewhere in the middle.

“Put yourself on both side of the situation. These kids is [sic] get out of hand. Remember these kids fight adults now. They all walking close to the officer as well. U know some of them screaming all kind of s—- behind her. No I don’t like what she is saying but, she get up everyday praying she make it home to her kids as well sis. It’s f——- up out here seriously.”

And one conversation speculated the full scope of transparency in the video, debating whether looks can be deceiving.

“Idk. I feel like it’s more to the video. Kids like to antagonize adults as well. And clearly they knew wtf they was doing cause the first thing a kid mentioned was getting a lawsuit. People only record or show what they want from a video. The whole incident wasn’t recorded,” one woman wrote.

Another woman responded with, “Understood! But everyone missing the whole point here. She said she will kill this kids than made a attempt by placing her hand on her gun. That shit ain’t cool man. I never not once say she was doing her job. I’m sure she was. But they showed no threat to her. On or off the camera because if they did don’t you think should’ve used more force at that point. Even the other officer was looking lost af [sic].”

In response to this, one woman posted, “a threat is your own perception it’s how the situation is perceived we are in an era where surveillance can be cropped to fit the narrative of the agenda that’s attempted to be pushed. In the heat of the moment you are not thinking about choice words I’m sorry you’re just not. Now mix that with being frustrated on top of kids being uncooperative while others are shoving phones in your face all while in your personal space while you attempt to make an arrest is just a lot going on honestly!!!! The officer that was with her failed her she was literally handling that entire situation with all those variables on her own when she shouldn’t have had to considering assistance was there. Ijs [sic].”

Paul has been an officer with Miami-Dade Schools Police since 2015. Miami-Dade Police Public Information Officer Alvaro Zabaleta was unaware of the alleged incident that transpired with Paul.

He explained that the Miami-Dade Schools Police is a branch of the Miami-Dade Police Department that has transitioned to operating as its own division in alignment with a state bill that was passed to implement officers in schools following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting Feb. 14, 2018.

The Miami Times tried to contact the North Miami High School principal; Miami-Dade Schools Police; and Miami-Dade’s Citizen Independent Review Panel Working Group, but did not hear back after leaving messages.

The school board released the following statement on the matter:

“The behavior portrayed in this video is inappropriate for any person associated with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The District takes great pride in promoting core values, such as respect and restraint, to students and we expect employees to lead by example. As such, the officer has been relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a full Internal Affairs investigation.”

UPDATE: Thursday, Feb. 6

On Thursday, just less than a week after the incident occurred, Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Edwin Lopez contacted back The Miami Times, confirming that the police's internal affairs department had been sent the video with Paul following the incident-- but could not recall off the top of his head the exact date it was received by its department.

"Based on the evidence we saw in the video, it obviously depicts language that is not in-line with the core mission and values of our [Miami-Dade School Police] employees," he said.

"We continue reviewing the incident in its totality and interviewing potential witnesses to gather additional facts."

As of now, the chief said it's too early to forecast the exact duration of Paul's administrative leave, since the internal investigation is still ongoing. 

emane@miamitimesonline.com

Eman Elshahawy joined The Miami Times in November 2019 as the multimedia content producer. Eman graduated from the University of Florida in Summer 2019, where she earned a B.S. in journalism from UF's College of Journalism and Communications.

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