City releases “disturbing” body camera video of Greensboro, North Carolina arrest
Edited by Hand2HandKing - 9/28/16 at 4:10pm
A student who was slammed to the ground by a police officer at a North Carolina high school was trying to break up a fight involving her sister, according to the 15-year-old who posted video of the incident on social media.
Ahunna Akpuda recorded a brief video of an officer surrounded by students at Rolesville high school. The officer lifted and dropped a girl on her left side, then pulled her to her feet and lead her away. Akpuda said two girls had been fighting, including the sister of the girl who was slammed to the floor.
She said the officer arrived a few seconds after the girl arrived to break up the fight. “He drags her farther away from the actual fight after it was broken up,” said Ahunna, who spoke with the Associated Press on the phone Wednesday, along with her mother. “That’s when he proceeds to lift her up and slam her down to the ground.”
The girl who tried to break up the fight seemed “confused about why he was pulling her and restraining her”, Ahunna said. The video doesn’t show what led up to or followed the incident.
Her mother, Pam Akpuda, said she doesn’t think the officer, identified by town officials as Ruben De Los Santos, should be allowed to return to the school. “I don’t feel comfortable with him going back in the school,” she said. “If he’s fired, so be it. At the least, he needs to be reassigned.”
De Los Santos is on paid administrative leave, the Rolesville police chief said. Police chief Bobby Langston told town commissioners Tuesday that he’s reviewing the incident, which he said began as a fight between two female students Tuesday morning.
The officer is Hispanic and the female student in the video is black, Mayor Frank Eagles said. The video has prompted the state’s largest school district to take a fresh look at standards for officers assigned to work in schools. Wake County school officials will review the memorandum of understanding that places an armed police officer in every high school and some middle schools, district spokeswoman Lisa Luten said Wednesday.
The review will include “determining if changes need to be made to the agreement”, she said in an email. Rolesville high school principal Dhedra Lassiter said in a statement posted on the school’s website Tuesday that she is “deeply concerned” about what she saw in the video.
The girl shown in the video told WRAL-TV in Raleigh that she was trying to break up a fight between her sister and another student when the officer came up behind her and slammed her to the ground. The girls’ mother, Desiree Harrison, told WRAL-TV she was called to the high school about her other daughter and had no idea what had happened to the one in the video.
“When I’m looking at this video, I’m like ‘Oh, my God, this cannot be happening to my child’ because I was just up at the school and they didn’t even tell me what happened to her,” Harrison said.