NC school resource officer faces misdemeanor assault charge after video surfaces, DA says

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VANCE COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina school resource officer seen on video slamming an 11-year-old boy to the ground now faces charges, according to the office of District Attorney Michael Waters, whose jurisdiction includes Vance County.

The video shows the Vance County Middle School resource officer grabbing and slamming the child to the ground, then picking him up and doing it again before yanking the child up and continuing to walk down the hall. The school alerted the sheriff’s office minutes after the incident on Thursday.

Arrest warrants were filed for the officer, including charges of assault on a child under 12 and willful failure to discharge duties.

The charges are not felonies because the child was not seriously injured.

“It’s obvious that the child was assaulted,” Jason Spriggs, Henderson City Council member, said in a Facebook Live video. Henderson is the county seat for Vance.

“To see this is just horrifying,” Spriggs said. “It’s a rough video. I can’t imagine my child going through something like that.”

The officer was placed on paid leave pending an investigation, Sheriff Curtis Brame told WRAL on Friday.

Lt. James Goolsby of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office announced his termination on Monday.

Vance County Schools released a statement following the incident.

“We are deeply concerned by the actions that took place. School and district officials are working closely and in full cooperation with the local authorities to address this matter consistent with school board policy and state laws,” the statement read. “The safety of our students has been and continues to be of the utmost importance to our district.”

District attorney says officer used inappropriate force

Sheriff Brame told WNCN-TV that after reviewing the video, he handed the investigation over to the State Bureau of Investigation.

Waters told CNN, “This is the first time I have had a school resource officer in a school using force like this on a student.”

“It does not appear from the video that that was an appropriate tactic or police use of force, considering the child’s age and being in school,” Waters said.

The boy’s father told CNN he and the boy’s mother are “very upset” about the incident. The sheriff told WRAL-TV the child was not hospitalized, but he has a bump on his head.

Brame told WRAL the officer has been with the department for two years and has had no prior incidents that raised concern.

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