A North Carolina police officer was placed on administrative leave after a video emerged of his slamming a female student to the ground on Tuesday.
In the video, Officer Ruben De Los Santos of the Rolesville Police Department is seen lifting the student into the air and then forcefully throwing her to the ground. The student then stands up and is taken away by the officer with her hands behind her back.
A local CBS affiliate reported that a witness said the incident occurred during a fight between two other students at Rolesville High School on Tuesday morning. The student who was thrown by the officer “was trying to defend her sister and to break things up,” the witness told the station.
The student suffered minor injuries “but nothing extremely serious,” the witness wrote on Twitter.
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De Los Santos is a resource officer assigned to the high school in Rolesville, a town about 15 miles northeast of Raleigh.
Wake County officials said they were investigating the incident, according to the Raleigh newspaper The News and Observer. The officer’s actions have drawn scorn from parents of students at the school and from the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, who called the incident a “disturbing use of force.”
The video was reminiscent of other recent police incidents at public schools, including one in Texas in which an officer body-slammed a 12-year-old girl and one in South Carolina in which an officer violently threw a student across a classroom. The two officers involved in those incidents were eventually fired.