A North Carolina school resource officer has been fired after disturbing video showed him repeatedly slamming an boy to the ground surfaced this week.
According to CBS News, the shocking incident was recorded last Thursday at Vance County Middle School in the north-central North Carolina county. The video shows the SRO, who is a deputy with the Vance County Sheriff’s Department, body-slamming the student, who is described in news reports as younger than 12, as he walks with him down a hallway.
Moments later, the deputy picks him up and slams him to the ground again before dragging the child down the hall by his shirt collar.
“Really horrible. Just terrible,” one parent said of the video.
Sheriff Curtis Brame was just as appalled.
“When we first saw the video, we were stunned, we were shocked,” Brame told local station WNCN-TV. “We all are parents and grandparents that have children at that same age, so it brought some great concern to us.”
He decried the “very graphic” video, adding, “I don’t expect my deputy or any deputy or law enforcement in North Carolina to carry out their duties in that way.”
Brame has since handed the case over to the State Bureau of Investigation for review. Meanwhile, the deputy in question, who remains unnamed, was initially placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
The lax punishment sparked a flood of angry reactions from online critics who argued that the officer should’ve been immediately fired. The phrase “paid leave” became a top trending topic on social media Monday as users offered their two cents on the issue.
“Right now. This officer needs to be fired, then arrested for felony assault of a child, right this very moment,” one Twitter user wort. “This isn’t just foul, it’s criminal.”
“‘Paid leave,’ they said” Omar Baddar, deputy director of the Arab American Institute added. “There are some details to be looked into for sure, but what is already settled by this video is the fact that a grown man initiated a violent physical assault against a child.
“Fire & arrest him, THEN investigate,” he added.
Countless others agreed.
“Why is that deputy on paid leave when we have video of him assaulting a child?” filmmaker Bree Newsome opined.
A fellow user who claimed to have over 10 years of experience as a police officer and SRO condemned the incident as “terrible policing,” adding: “For this, paid leave is unacceptable! This is criminal!”
“The kid could have DIED, for God’s sake,” another argued. “Fire and arrest this bastard.”
The extent of the child’s injuries are unknown, but officials said that could affect any potential charges against the officer.
The child’s father told WNCN his son is recovering at home, but didn’t offer any other details.
The Vance School District addressed the matter in a statement:
“We’re deeply concerned by the actions that took place. School and district officials are working closely and in full cooperation with the local authorities.”
Watch more in the clip below.