Former Rolesville SRO Won't Face Criminal Charges | News
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Former Rolesville SRO Won't Face Criminal Charges

Posted by on Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 7:02 PM

A Wake County grand jury has declined to bring charges against the Rolesville police officer who violently slammed a high school student to the ground in January, ABC 11 reports.

The incident involved Rolesville SRO Ruben de Los Santos, who was caught on video slamming Jasmine Darwin, a fifteen-year-old student, to the ground. According to reports, Darwin was trying to break up a fight between students when de Los Santos stepped in and threw her to the ground. The video quickly went viral on social media, and Darwin's family claimed the teenager suffered from a concussion.

De los Santos was placed on administrative leave after the incident—which was investigated by the Rolesville Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation—and resigned from his position last week.

"Our law enforcement officers are engaged daily in difficult interactions where they often are required to intervene. As they strive to maintain the peace and protect our community, it's important that proper and legal boundaries on the use of force are followed," Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said in a statement. "I commend chief of police Bobby Langston for his willingness to invite an unbiased review of this matter and for his commitment to maintaining the public trust of his community."

Meanwhile, local activists are calling on the Wake County School District to remove SROs from schools altogether, beginning with a 50 percent reduction over the next year.

"They are more harmful than helpful," Ramiya Robinson, a high school senior, told the INDY earlier this year. "We don't necessarily see a school resource officer and go, 'Oh, this friendly guy is here. I feel so safe.' School resource officers honestly don't have a place in schools. The school is not a prison or a criminal area. I'd feel more comfortable with mediation happening, talking through issues. The issue is that they don't know how to de-escalate a situation without using force."

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