Police officer slams girl to floor at N. Carolina high school

Jan 3 (Reuters) - A police officer was videotaped slamming to the floor a female African-American student at a North Carolina school on Tuesday, according to officials and a video of the incident, which sparked outrage after circulating on social media.

The officer, identified by officials in the town of Rolesville as Ruben De Los Santos, can be seen in the video grabbing the student at Rolesville High School around the chest and abdomen, lifting her off the ground and then slamming her to the ground.

Police officer slams girl to floor at North Carolina high school
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Police officer slams girl to floor at North Carolina high school
#BreakingNews - UPDATE - Rolesville High student shares video of fight that led to another student getting slammed… https://t.co/AlvXYmh3sk
North Carolina high school resource officer body slams female student in viral video https://t.co/loBe06IM7n https://t.co/MyYJBjn6rp
Information from Rolesville High regarding today's incident: https://t.co/595J9YFzEE
The ACLU-North Carolina tweeted about video saying it displayed a “disturbing use of force." https://t.co/bdPunbztKO
UPDATE - Ruben De Los Santos, the officer involved in the Rolesville High incident is on administrative leave https://t.co/ox7oCmXVUE
Video of #rolesvillehigh student being slammed to ground by police officer getting national media attention #wcpss https://t.co/w0ykPtfWlg
#BreakingNews - Video shows officer body slam female student Rolesville HS - @WCPSS and Rolesville PD investigating. https://t.co/RlDPhceSic

The officer then hoists the girl and walks her through a crowd of students while pinning her arms behind her back.

Lisa Luten, a spokeswoman for the Wake County Public School System, said the officer was responding to a fight between two girls on Tuesday morning and the girl who was slammed to the floor had tried to intervene.

"We're in the process right now of working with the Rolesville Police Department to gather all the details around the incident to ensure that we take appropriate action," Luten said.

The town of Rolesville said in a brief statement that De Los Santos has been placed on administrative leave and said the Rolesville Police Department asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case.

Police could not be reached for comment.

The incident comes amid heightened scrutiny of the use of force by police against people of color due to numerous high-profile killings and assaults of African-Americans by law enforcement across the United States over the last two years.

The video drew angry reactions on social media, as the hashtag #RolesvilleHigh was trending on Twitter in North Carolina.

"Very disturbing video. Students should never be treated this way," the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said in a tweet.

Desiree Harrison, who identified herself as the mother of the girl, Jasmine Darwin, told local broadcaster WRAL she was shocked by the video. "When I'm looking at this video, I'm like 'Oh my god, this cannot be happening to my child,'" she said.

A video published online by WTVD shows two girls in a fist fight before being separated and then pans to show the officer slamming the other girl to the floor.

The broadcaster said the officer had been assigned to the high school since 2013. (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Writing by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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