ROLESVILLE, NC – A video provided to CBS North Carolina shows a police officer slamming a female student to the ground during an incident Tuesday morning at Rolesville High School.
The girl’s mother said she believe the officer had used too much force and that the girl received a concussion.
The State Bureau of Investigation has been asked to review the incident, the town’s police chief said Tuesday evening at a regularly scheduled meeting of Rolesville’s Board of Commissioners. He urged the public to be patient.
During the Board of Commissioners meeting, the town’s police chief read the following statement:
A fight occurred today at the rolesville High School (1099 East young Street) at approximately 7:10 am in the cafeteria area. It was between two female students.
The Town of Rolesville School Resource Officer, Ruben De Los Santos, responded to this incident. Officer De Los Santos has subsequently been placed on piad administrative leave, per Town of Rolesville Personnel policy, pending the outcome of the investigation of this incident.
We will work diligently to review any and all pertinent information so that we provide an accurate account of the events. We ask the community and all members involved to be patient while we investigate this matter.
Wake County Public Schools said it is aware of the video could not make further comment until it investigates the incident. The District is working with Rolesville Police in its investigation.
The following message was delivered by automated phone call to Rolesville High School parents on Tuesday:
Good Evening. This is Ms. Lassiter, principal at Rolesville High School, calling to inform you of an issue affecting our school today.
This morning, school staff addressed an altercation in the hallway of our school. An SRO assigned to our school responded to the fight. A video of the incident, widely shared on social media, has prompted questions about the response.
WCPSS security is currently in the process of working with the Rolesville Police Department to gather all of the details about the incident to ensure that appropriate action is taken.
As you know, I care deeply about our school. I have always tried to keep you informed. I will share more information about the incident as soon as I am able. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Have a good night.
County schools officials also released a letter from the school’s principal to the school community:
Rolesville High School Community,
Tuesday a video was circulated showing a school resource officer using force on a Rolesville High
School student. I, like many of you, am deeply concerned about what I saw in the video.
The safety of our students is always our first priority. 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.
Immediately after becoming aware of Tuesday’s incident, we reached out to the Rolesville Police Department. I appreciate the quick action of Chief Langston, who placed the school resource officer on
administrative leave and began an immediate investigation.
Two years ago, our school district enacted a unified agreement with all local law enforcement agencies
that provides training and a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities for School Resource
Officers. As part of the investigation, the district and law enforcement are reviewing those standards.
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
Rolesville High School
A witness who recorded the video said it shows the end of a fight that occurred around 7:10 a.m.
The witness said the girl who was slammed “was trying to defend her sister and to break things up.”
Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles said the officer involved was SRO Ruben De Los Santos.
He has been a resource officer at the school for 3 ½ years, Eagles confirmed.
De Los Santos has been placed on paid administrative leave.
De Los Santos’ body camera captured the incident, according to Eagles.
Eagles said there are two school resource officers at that school, so its possible there is more than one body camera video.
The ACLU-North Carolina tweeted about video saying it displayed a “disturbing use of force.”