COLUMBIA — Columbia police Officer Mark Brotemarkle apologized to Diamond Thrower and her mother for flinging Thrower to the ground during a fight that occurred around noon on Wednesday at Hickman High School, according to a news release from Interim Columbia Police Chief Capt. Tom Dresner.
Brotemarkle, at the time of the incident, was unaware that Thrower was attempting to break up the fight, Dresner said in the release.
Dresner said the department wishes to "reiterate that Officer Brotemarkle has worked successfully at Hickman High School for several years and has broken up numerous fights among students which have become all too common and are not ceasing upon adult intervention. This history and successful interagency cooperation must be considered while this investigation continues."
Columbia Police Administration, Columbia Public Schools Administration and Hickman Principal Mike Jeffers met Monday morning to discuss the process of the investigation into Officer Brotemarkle's conduct. The investigation came after the fight was recorded by a student on her cell phone and uploaded to YouTube. The Columbia Public Schools and Hickman administration will fully cooperate with the investigation, Jeffers said in an earlier interview.
According to the release, the Police Department's Professional Standards Unit will collect evidence, conduct extensive interviews and thoroughly examine the video and surrounding circumstances.
"Hickman is a fantastic place to be," Doug Mirts, Hickman athletic and activities director, said. "I enjoy coming to work every day and don't fear for my safety, and students and teachers shouldn't either. Hickman High School is going to continue to run as normal."
The police could not be reached for further comment.
The video and investigation have received national attention. MSNBC ran a story about the incident on Monday.