Officer on administrative leave after slamming girl to the ground at school following fight

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Officer put on leave after school fight and body slam
ABC11 Eyewitnesses sent in videos of a fight at Rolesville High and an officer slamming a girl to the ground

ROLESVILLE, North Carolina -- Desiree Harrison said she doesn't feel her daughter, 15-year-old Jasmine Darwin, is safe at Rolesville High School. She said her daughter now has a concussion and she plans to take her out of the school.

Video sent by an ABC11 Eyewitness shows Darwin being picked up and thrown to the ground by school resource officer Ruben De Los Santos. A second, longer video sent in shows a dramatic fight between two girls which led up to the incident.

In the original 8-second video, a group of students were congregated in an area before De Los Santos slams the girl on the floor. Police said there was a fight at the school Tuesday morning.

The second video shows two girls fighting each other, eventually ending up on the floor. The girls were throwing punches, kicking, and clawing at each other.

Fight at Rolesville High between two girls before an officer slammed another girl to the ground

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.

Harrison, Darwin's mother, also said one of 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.

When ABC11 spoke to Harrison late Tuesday night, Harrison said she had just gotten back from the hospital. She said her daughter suffered a concussion and she plans to go to the school first thing in the morning to get her daughter's transcripts. She said her daughter is an honor roll student, is a good kid and didn't deserve to be treated like that.

The second eyewitness who sent the longer video of the fight, Aisha Nasser, said she didn't think De Los Santos meant any harm.

"He's one of the kindest officers I've ever come across," Nasser said. "Seeing the whole situation first hand it was out of control and he was just trying to gain control of the situation and I know it wasn't his intention to hurt that girl."

Rolesville mayor Frank Eagles said the officer, De Los Santos, was placed on administrative leave. He said De Los Santos has been assigned to the school since it opened in 2013. Eagles said all officers were given body cameras in August.

Altercation at Rolesville High School

Eagles told ABC11 the Rolesville Chief of Police would talk about the incident after a regularly scheduled town meeting Tuesday night.

"We will work diligently to review any and all pertinent information so that we provide an accurate account of the events," police said in a statement Tuesday evening. "We ask the community and all members involved to be patients while we investigate this matter."

Police have asked the State Bureau of Investigations to conduct a third-party review.

Lisa Luten, a spokesperson for Wake County Public Schools, said they are aware of the situation.

"We are in the process of working with Rolesville Police Department to gather all of the details around this incident," Luten said.

After De Los Santos threw the girl to the ground, he led the girl off with her arms behind her back.

Wake County Public Schools responded on Twitter to the student who posted the video. They said they are working to investigate.

The ACLU of North Carolina tweeted in response to the video, calling it a "disturbing use of force."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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