An officer tripping kids, grabbing them, and shoving them after a state championship soccer game over the weekend has resulted in an internal affairs investigation into the behavior of Officer George Bermudez. According to an April 21 KVUE report and the above video, one of the students who was tripped by the police officer can be seen limping away. “Bermudez then sticks out his leg in an attempt to trip a girl, then grabs another student and pushes him away and then another girl is pushed to the ground.”
The shocking incident of a police officer overstepping his boundaries in controlling kids occurred on Saturday after Vandegrift High School won the University Interscholastic League championship soccer game against Wylie East in Georgetown, Texas. After Vandergift High School’s exhilarating win, people jumped from the stands and ran onto the field.
One of the students who ran excitedly onto the field was Gray Goolsby, a Vandergrift student. Goolsby, like many of the other kids, was overwhelmed by the win and wanted to join in the celebration, but when he and the others ran onto the field, everything went somewhat out of control. “We get in the dog pile and it's just crazy you know,” said the student.
One of the mothers who was at the game and whose daughter is a junior on the soccer team also described the extreme excitement that the kids were displaying after the win. “These kids were excited. They wanted to celebrate. It was so exciting. In fact, it was so exciting, I jumped up and almost blacked out and hit the woman in front of me!”
The video and news about an officer tripping kids by sticking out his leg, grabbing them, and shoving them, quickly spread across the internet and videos were uploaded to YouTube. Several videos were taken from the game broadcast and from fans. By Sunday morning, parents emailed the Georgetown Police Department alerting them of the officer’s inappropriate action.
The Georgetown police officer who was caught on video trying to control the enthusiastic crowd of kids with any means possible had been with the police department since 2005 and was named officer of the year last year. Now he is under investigation for his misconduct.
In response to the numerous phone calls, emails, and videos, Georgetown Police Department Police Chief Wayne Nero issued a statement on Monday saying that the officer’s behavior is of concern and that it was forwarded to the Professional Standards Division which will conduct an investigation. As for now, Officer Bermudez has been placed “on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation.”
The officer tripping kids and displaying inappropriate behavior has resulted in quite opposite responses from the students who were on the field. According to a KXAN report, one 16-year-old student who watched all of this unfold while shooting the video on his phone said that the officer “should’ve used better judgement. We’re high schoolers just trying to have some fun after our team won.” However, Vandergrift student Gray Goolsby, who was grabbed by Bermudez by his shoulder and told to get back to the stands said that “I hope he doesn't lose his job over this because we were just trying to have fun, and he's just trying to do his job, and hopefully everything works out.”