A 15-year-girl has a concussion after being slammed to the ground by a school resource officer on Tuesday, her mother told ABC11 Eyewitness News. The incident—which took place at Rolesville High School in Rolesville, North Carolina—was caught on tape and uploaded to social media by students on the scene.
Video of the incident shows resource officer Ruben De Los Santos picking high school student Jasmine Darwin up from off the floor before slamming her to the ground. The original video does not reveal what led to the incident, although a second, longer video depicts a fight between two female students. An eyewitness said that Darwin was trying to break up the fight when De Los Santos intervened.
The Associated Press reports that De Los Santos—who has worked at the school since 2013—has been placed on administrative leave.
Darwin’s mother, Desiree Harrison, plans to remove her daughter from the school. "When I'm looking at this video, I'm like 'Oh, my god, this cannot be happening to my child,' because I was just up at the school and they didn't even tell me what happened to her," Harrison told WRAL-TV in Raleigh. "They were so busy trying to get rid of the one who was in a fight but didn't even say something about the one that was not involved in anything.”
Darwin added that she didn't understand what was happening in the moment. "Every time I look at it, it's embarrassing," she said. "I didn't even realize it happened. Like, I was in shock."
Aisha Nasser witnessed the incident and came to De Los Santos’ defense, calling him "one of the kindest officers" she's ever come across. "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,” Nasser told ABC11.
Officials in Rolesville have addressed the incident. Police Chief Bobby Langston said in a statement that he and his staff are working diligently and he asked that the community "be patient while we investigate this matter."
Rolesville High School principal Dhedra Lassite also released a statement.
“The safety of our students is always our first priority," Lassiter said. "Our school district works with many dedicated officers who protect our students. It is vital that our children have a positive relationship with these law enforcement officials. Those relationships are built on mutual respect. I understand this incident brings up questions and conversations about the manner in which we keep students and staff safe in our schools. We will continue to be in conversation as we learn additional information."