Teen’s arrest at Hanes Middle School was ‘disturbing and violent,’ says Winston-Salem Urban League, who wants SRO removed
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem Urban League is calling for the local school system to remove a school resource officer from Hanes Magnet Middle School after what it calls the “disturbing and violent arrest” of a 14-year-old female student, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
The Winston-Salem Police Department said Friday that it was investigating the circumstances of the arrest after a video was posted on Facebook showing the incident. On Tuesday afternoon, the department identified the school resource officer as Tyler McCormick.
According to an Urban League news release, the student being arrested was Rockell Baldwin.
“While we are still collecting facts, in the disturbing and violent arrest of 14-year-old Rockell Baldwin at Hanes Magnet School, the current available information provides no reasonable explanation for an adult male to slam a child to the hot pavement, put his knee in her back, apply the full weight of his body to her, and hold her face against the hot pavement and handcuff her,” James Perry, the president and chief executive of the Winston-Salem Urban League, said in a statement.
According to the police department, McCormick was contacted by a school staff member about an incident of disorderly conduct and he started investigating. McCormick had a body camera that captured “the investigative actions taken by the officer on the date in question,” the police department said in a news release.
Baldwin told two television news organizations that she had asked for a hall pass because she wasn’t feeling well. The school resource officer followed her and asked her where she was going. She told one news organization that the officer tried to trip her while outside the school building, and when she walked over the officer’s leg, the officer slammed her to the ground outside. When she realized the arrest was being recorded, she screamed for help. She told the news organizations that she and her twin sister have been suspended.