Columbia police officer apologizes to Hickman student and her mother

Monday, October 20, 2008 | 8:18 p.m. CDT; updated 11:21 a.m. CST, Monday, November 17, 2008

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.

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Nathan Stephens October 21, 2008 | 10:18 a.m.

Kudos to Officer Brotemarkle for being professional enough to admit that he had made a mistake. That is all most people wanted from this incident. Kudos to Hickman High School for caring about the safety of the students, staff and resource officers.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 21, 2008 | 12:45 p.m.

Officer Brotemarkle should be removed from Hickman; via a medal and a promotion!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 21, 2008 | 1:55 p.m.

Where were the parents of these kids in properly raising them to not incite these kinds of incidents?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 21, 2008 | 2:58 p.m.

Maybe the following will help enlighten those parents who can read...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 21, 2008 | 3:07 p.m.

I've discovered that the Missourian site will not transfer you to the site I had intended. You may need to enter the words "Cosby on parenting" in the search section of the site to get the article on Bill Cosby and parenting. Good luck...

Online NewsHour: Bill Cosby criticizes parenting in the African ...

... July 15, 2004. Comedian Bill Cosby created controversy recently with pointed public criticism of parenting practices in certain African-American communities. ...

(Report Comment)
Ali Shaffer October 27, 2008 | 10:38 p.m.

Charles Dudley....."Where were the parents of these kids in properly raising them to not incite these kinds of incidents?" BS!!! Parents could raise their children in the best way ever, and the reason that they do that is to help their child when they need it in their life. What they do with these life lessons, is in fact up to them. Blaming the parents is just BS.......what is there is a serial killer.....are you always going to blame it on the parent......or will it be the simple fact that the killer has a twisted mind? Blame the cops or the teachers.....something besides the parents. You always blame the parents!!

(Report Comment)
Daniel Paulling October 27, 2008 | 11:00 p.m.

I think that parents should be held accountable (only partially, though) if we are discussing kids. Serial killers are usually adults, but if they are kids, you really have to consider the influence of parents.

Remember: nature and nuture both have roles in how kids are. Or are you saying parents don't have any role whatsoever on who their kids become?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 28, 2008 | 3:15 a.m.

Ali Shaffer I call B.S. on you as in too many times parents do not want to step up and take their responsibility seriously.

That is a fact.

(Report Comment)
Ali Shaffer October 28, 2008 | 6:04 p.m.

You ar missing everything i am trying to say Mr. Expert....

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 28, 2008 | 6:16 p.m.

Seems Ali Shaffer you are just complacent to put the blame where it actually needs to be.

(Report Comment)

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