A police officer who body slammed a teenage girl to the ground at a high school is facing calls for his head.
The incident at Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, California, last week sparked outrage when video footage of the altercation went viral.
Officers were called to the school to deal with a 17-year-old girl who had been suspended but refused to leave the campus.
She was handcuffed and escorted off campus, but police say she tried to escape twice, prompting the officer to throw her to the ground and the school community have demanded he is withdrawn from duties around the grounds.
La Mesa police Chief Walt Vasquez appeared to back his colleague in a statement, which was reported in the San Diego Union Tribune, saying the school resource officer tried to get the girl to leave of her own accord.
When she refused, he ordered her to do so, but again the teenager said no, forcing him to handcuff her.
The chief said: 'As they were walking, the student became non-compliant on two separate occasions and made an attempt to free herself by pulling away from the officer.
'To prevent the student from escaping, the officer forced the student to the ground.'
But the force the officer used has been called into question.
The video clearly shows the cop throwing the girl over his shoulder down onto the concrete sidewalk below before using his body weight to pin her down.
She appears motionless on the ground and suffered what was described as 'minor abrasions'.
Police say once the girl stopped resisting, the officer helped her to her feet and they walked to a patrol car.
But the teenager's family contest the police's version of events.