A North Carolina school resource officer seen on video slamming an 11-year-old boy to the ground has been fired, according to Lt. James Goolsby with the Vance County Sheriff’s Office.
The video shows the Vance County Middle School resource officer grabbing and slamming the child to the ground, then picking him up and doing it again before yanking the child up and continuing to walk down the hall. The school alerted the sheriff’s office minutes after the incident on Thursday.
“It’s obvious that the child was assaulted,” Jason Spriggs, Henderson City Council member, said in a Facebook Live video. Henderson is the county seat for Vance.
“To see this is just horrifying,” Spriggs said. “It’s a rough video. I can’t imagine my child going through something like that.”
The officer had been placed on paid leave pending an investigation, Sheriff Curtis Brame told WRAL on Friday. Goolsby announced his termination on Monday. CNN is attempting to reach out to the resource officer, whom authorities have not publicly identified.
Vance County Schools plans to modify its agreement with the sheriff’s office, Superintendent Anthony Jackson said at a Monday press conference. He did not go into detail about what the modifications meant, but said the district will review protocols and procedures and ensure it is using best practices in its agreement with the sheriff’s office.
“We are better than this. This child deserved better than this,” Jackson said, adding an apology to the family and community. “We will work tirelessly to ensure that this never happens again to another child in our school system.”
District attorney says officer used inappropriate force
Sheriff Brame told CNN affiliate WNCN-TV that after reviewing the video, he handed the investigation over to the State Bureau of Investigation.
District Attorney Michael Waters, whose jurisdiction includes Vance County, told CNN, “This is the first time I have had a school resource officer in a school using force like this on a student.”
“It does not appear from the video that that was an appropriate tactic or police use of force, considering the child’s age and being in school,” Waters said.
The boy’s father told CNN he and the boy’s mother are “very upset” about the incident. The sheriff told CNN affiliate WRAL-TV the child was not hospitalized, but he has a bump on his head.
The child is expected to follow up with a doctor Monday, an official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
A charging decision against the officer could come as early as this week, according to the official.
Brame told WRAL the officer has been with the department for two years and has had no prior incidents that raised concern.
Considering the school resource officer does not have a previous record, and if the child does not have severe or lasting injuries, any potential charge may be at minimum a Class A1 misdemeanor, with up to 60 days in jail, according to the official with knowledge of the investigation.
CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.