HENDERSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A Vance County deputy who had been put on leave following the release of a video showing him brutally slamming a middle school child to the ground has been fired, according to multiple sources within the sheriff’s office.
On Dec. 13, Sheriff Curtis Brame said Vance County Schools filed a complaint with his office concerning a juvenile being assaulted by a law enforcement officer.
After reviewing the video, Brame handed the investigation over to the State Bureau of Investigation.
The video shows a deputy pick up a student and slam him to the ground twice before dragging him off camera. There is no audio on the recording.
“He could have killed my grandson. He could have paralyzed my grandson,” said John Miles, who is a pastor in Henderson. He said his grandson, who weighs about 70 pounds, was knocked unconscious and returned to see a doctor on Monday. “An eleven-year-old kid being thrown around like this here, has taken a toll on his body and his mind and his spirit.”
Miles said his grandson won’t return to Vance County Middle School. He said his parents are looking into options for home schooling or to move him out of the district.
Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame told CBS 17 Monday morning that the deputy was no longer employed by the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office has not released his name.
“We went over and 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,” said Brame last Friday.
Brame said there are two school resource officers assigned to the middle school. The other SRO is continuing their duties. Other deputies are filling in for the SRO who is now on leave.
On Monday, Vance County Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson spoke about the situation publicly for the first time.
“We’re disappointed. As a community, we’re embarrassed. And, most of all, we want to express our apologies,” he said.
He added that the district will review its memorandum of understanding with the sheriff’s office regarding school resource officers. It’s not clear what, if any, changes will come of that.
He did not answer any specific questions about last week’s incident.
John Miles said he still hasn’t gotten a clear answer about why the school resource officer was interacting with his grandson in the first place.
“My grandson was walking in the hall, and the SRO said something to him. And, the next thing he knows, he was being thrown against the wall,” he said.
Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said the extent of the child’s injuries could impact any potential charges that are filed. The boy’s father said he’s recovering at home, but declined to say more.
“When the collection of evidence is over, whether it’s some time early next week, or some time thereafter, we will promptly make a decision about what is appropriate to do in this case,” Waters said last week.
Irena Como, acting legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina released the following statement regarding the incident:
The disturbing and appalling use of force at Vance County Middle School should never have been used against a child. This type of heartbreaking incident is all too common as educators increasingly rely on law enforcement to handle routine disciplinary issues, especially with children of color and children with disabilities. School Resource Officers are charged with protecting students, but they use physical force and escalate situations to the detriment of students. School Resource Officers should never handle disciplinary issues, which are more appropriately addressed by school counselors or mental health professionals, and the routine presence of police in schools should end.”Irena Como, acting legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina
The identity of the former deputy has still not been released by the sheriff’s office.
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