A Rolesville, North Carolina school resource officer has been placed on leave after a video was posted of him body slamming a petite teenage girl.
A full investigation is under way after the officer, Ruben De Los Santos, was caught on tape picking the girl up to his shoulder height and then throwing her to the floor in a move more suitable for a World Wrestling Federation ring than a high school. He then pulls her to her feet, pins her arms behind her back and walks her away.
I can’t think of any scenario in which an unarmed girl should be treated with such brutality by a man in charge of student safety.
The short video has gone viral and has prompted an outcry on social media. Warning: It’s very disturbing.
Jasmine Darwin, the student in the video, was later taken to the hospital. She suffered a concussion. Her mother was not notified by the school about what had happened to her.
According to ABC11:
Desiree Harrison said one of her daughters was involved in that fight and her other daughter, Jasmine was trying to defend her sister and break it up when administrators can be seen intervening.
Rolesville Police released a statement Tuesday night saying a fight took place about 7:10 a.m. in the cafeteria area between two female students.
An eyewitness said the girl who was thrown to the ground was later involved, but was trying to break things up. Police have not confirmed that information, but Darwin’s mother gave the same account.
Harrison said the school called her this morning to notify her about her daughter being involved in the fight, but not about her other daughter and what happened with the officer. She said she didn’t know about it until after school.
In true CYA (Cover-Your-A**) fashion, Wake County Public School responded to the video by thanking the person that posted it on Twitter. A spokesperson stated that the local police department had started an investigation.
The Rolesville Police Department then put out their own statement, which said that they had “officially requested that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation conduct a third-party review of the incident.” (source)
Officer Ruben De Los Santos has been placed on paid
vacation administrative leave pending the outcome of the inquiry.
According to his LinkedIn page, De Los Santos had worked at the school since early 2012. Armed police officers are on site at all Wake County high schools, as well as at some middle schools. The role of the officers includes security at the school, some teaching, and counseling of students as required.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also spoke out about the officer’s actions, saying the event showed a “disturbing use of force” in a tweet. They also asked witnesses to come forward with any additional information.
— Chris Brook (@ChrisBrookACLU) 3 January 2017
Jasmine Darwin will not be returning to Rolesville High.