A Deputy Sheriff Is Fired After Video Shows Him Body Slamming 11-Year-Old Student
A police officer in North Carolina has been fired and charged with assault after a video showing him body-slamming a student repeatedly has surfaced. Ex-police officer Warren Durham is being charged with misdemeanor assault on a child less than 12 years old. The video shows the officer slamming the child to the ground twice before picking him up by his hoodie and dragging him down the hallway.
School and law officials are investigating why a deputy sheriff would body slam a student during school. The student suffered minor injuries, and the sheriff was fired after first being put on paid leave.
It’s unclear when the incident took place at Vance County Middle School in Henderson, North Carolina. However, the Vance County Schools filed a complaint against the sheriff last week. The deputy sheriff was initially placed on paid leave but was ultimately fired for body-slamming the student in the hallway and then picking him up and dragging him away.
A surveillance video of the incident went viral on social media, leaving many shocked over the sheriff’s unexpected behavior.
In the video, the sheriff is seen walking alongside the young boy in the hallway, when out of nowhere, he picks him up and slams him to the ground. The boy doesn’t move. He lays there for a second or two stunned before the sheriff picks him up again and drags him away.
It’s unclear what the child did, or what was said because there’s no audio to the released clip.
“We are deeply concerned by the actions that took place,” Aarika Sandlin, a Vance County Schools spokeswoman, said in an email Sunday, according to the New York Times. “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 safety of our students has been and continues to be of the utmost importance to our district.”
The student’s name has not been released.
Sheriff Curtis Brame said he was in complete awe when he saw the video of his colleague body-slamming the child.
“We went over, and when we first saw the video, we were stunned, we were shocked,” Brame said to CBS17 News. “We all are parents and grandparents that have children at that same age, so it brought some great concern to us.” The video prompted the District Attorney to file charges of assault on a child less than 12 years old.
“This is just a stunning kind of incident. I don’t see any justification at this point for that officer’s behavior and action,” Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said, according to ABC News. He added, “I don’t know what was said. I don’t think anything that was said or anything like that could justify his action. I don’t think that will be relevant to any determination.”
Just last week in Broward County, Florida, another sheriff was also fired for slamming a 15-year-old on the ground.
While the April 18 incident didn’t occur in school, a video showed three law officers using excessive force on the teenager which including punching him in the chest. Last week at least one of those officers involved was fired.
“When my deputies do the right thing, I will always support them and have their back. But I will not stand idly by while anyone violates his or her sworn duty to protect,” Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Gregory Tony said a press release last week according to ABC News. “Even a singular incident of excessive force by one of our deputies creates distrust between the community and our organization, and that is something I will not allow.”
The safety of students in schools has become a major issue in the U.S. after numerous school shootings over the years and the increased knowledge of police brutality.
In March, the Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine released findings that between 1999 to 2017, 38,942 school-age (5 to 18) children were killed by guns.
“It is sobering that in 2017, there were 144 police officers who died in the line of duty and about 1,000 active-duty military throughout the world who died, whereas 2,462 school-age children were killed by firearms,” said Dr. Charles Hennekens, the study’s senior author and an academic adviser at the medical college, told CNN.