A Vance County Sheriff’s deputy has been fired and an investigation has been launched by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation after the officer appeared to literally take a student’s disciplinary matters into his own hands earlier this month.
The footage, which was released publicly on Friday, showed the unidentified resource officer leisurely strolling down the hallway at Vance County Middle School with the student by his side. Seemingly unprovoked, the deputy then picks the boy up and slams him to the ground twice before dragging him down the hallway.
LET BE CLEAR.— Shaun King (@shaunking) December 16, 2019
This officer MUST be fired by the end of the day TODAY.
He should then be ARRESTED immediately for felony assault of a child.
This not only violates policy, it violates the law.
Vance County Sheriff's Office
Call: (252) 738-2200 pic.twitter.com/wDqLPVkOka
"When we first saw the video, we were stunned, we were shocked. We all are parents and grandparents that have children at that same age, so it brought some great concern to us," Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame said on Friday, as reported by North Carolina news station WNCN.
“School and district officials are working closely and in full cooperation with the local authorities to address this matter consistent with school board policy and state laws,” read the Vance County Schools’ district-wide statement, obtained by WRAL. “The safety of our students has been and continues to be of the utmost importance to our district.”
At the same time, the resource officer, who Brame claimed did not have any prior cases of misconduct, was not initially relieved of his duties and was instead placed on administrative leave. However, on Monday - after the footage went viral and stoked outrage social media - the Vance County Sheriff’s Office announced the officer had been fired.
"Regardless of how a kid acts, what a kid says, that person, that's a grown man, and the job you have, you gotta have standards," Emma Williams, who has a grandchild at Vance County Middle School, told WRAL. Williams went on to say the situation was “disturbing” and expressed that she was concerned that she learned about the officer’s misconduct via social media rather than from the school itself.
Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters explained to WNCN that the extent of the minor’s injuries will impact the level of charges brought forward against the deputy. The DA noted charges will be announced this week or “some time thereafter.”
The child’s father also spoke with the outlet and said that the boy is recovering at home, but did not provide further details.
Earlier this year, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Robert Lawson was placed on paid leave after he was caught on camera punching a student in the face during a heated argument. Lawson was suspended, without pay, from the department soon after the footage circulated online.
The officer, who county prosecutors said made a "false and contrary" police report on the incident, was later charged with battery, obstruction of justice, false informing and official misconduct, according to a September report from Fox 59.