Wake County Schools

Rolesville officer seen slamming girl in violent video resigns

Posted March 3

Jasmine Darwin

— Officer Ruben De Los Santos, who was featured in a cell phone video slamming a Rolesville High School student to the ground, resigned on Thursday, according to the Rolesville chief of police.

De Los Santos was visible in a video on Twitter posted by a student picking up a female student and slamming her to the floor. He had been on administrative leave since the video surfaced on Jan. 3.

Rolesville Police Chief Bobby Langston did not offer any other reason for De Los Santos' resignation. Rather, he praised his service and explained his actions.

Langston wrote:

"During Officer De Los Santos tenure with the Town, he was respected by his peers and the community at large. Officer De Los Santos was even selected as 2016 Officer of the Year for the Town of Rolesville Police Department. In this profession, law enforcement officers must make split-second decisions in tense and rapidly evolving circumstances. Sometimes that split second decision doesn’t define the long-standing character of the officer."

Langston said De Los Santos was trying to break up a fight involving three girls – a fight he described as "premeditated."

Desiree Harrison, the mother of the girl in the video, called it "embarrassing" and said it left her in shock.

Harrison acknowledged that one of her daughters had been in a fight and said the other daughter was coming to her aid when De Los Santos grabbed her.

14 Comments

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  • Randall Lamm Mar 5, 6:13 a.m.
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    The standard mantra of our time; the criminal is the poor victim.
    Some of you who seem to know so much about LE procedure should try breaking up a fight sometime.
    It ain't pretty.

  • Ben Hill Mar 4, 7:54 p.m.
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    The point is that it's not always possible to calmly diffuse a situation in the heat of the fight. Training or not, if people are in a physical altercation it is not always possible to calmly end the fight. Why don't you look at the minute leading up to the slam in the video and see if the officer tried to verbally end the fight? Since that doesn't exist, it makes it kind of hard to judge the officer as well, but that doesn't seem to stop anyone from doing so either.

  • Rusty Shackleford Mar 4, 6:40 p.m.
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    Not to worry. He'll easily be able to get a job with another police department. Police are worse about covering up their bad eggs than are doctors.

  • John Archer Mar 4, 3:53 p.m.
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    I am not excusing her behavior. However, the mentality of "she deserved what she got" is wrong. The police officer is trained to calmly handle a situation like this, the teenage girl is not. In the heat of the fight, who should be the mature role model here?

  • Ben Hill Mar 4, 3:24 p.m.
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    I would not be (and am not) surprised. I have no illusions that my daughter is perfect, but I do know she was taught to obey the law and officers who uphold it. The problem I have with this situation is that the so called "acting out" seen in the video IS physical violence. But you are only focused on the officer, and ignoring the real problem. Had there been no "acting out", the officer would not have had to try and break up a fight and the girl would not have been slammed to the ground. As long as we continue to make excuses for the poor behavior of some kids we enable their bad decisions and teach them that it is okay, when in reality it is not.

  • John Archer Mar 4, 1:50 p.m.
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    I think you would be surprised at the things your children have done when not under your direct supervision. Regardless, this was a case of a stronger man overpowering a weaker female, even though she was not a physical threat to him. "Acting out" is not a crime punishable by physical violence in our society.

  • Cherrie Fausnaught Mar 4, 12:54 p.m.
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    Police should use the least amount of force required. The officer could have easily taken control of this girl without raising her over his head and body slamming her. He knew he over reacted and that is why he resigned. Any parent who even attempted to do the same would be in jail for abuse.

  • Cherrie Fausnaught Mar 4, 12:54 p.m.
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    Police should use the least amount of force required. The officer could have easily taken control of this girl without raising her over his head and body slamming her. He knew he over reacted and that is why he resigned. Any parent who even attempted to do the same would be in jail for abuse.

  • Janet Ghumri Mar 4, 12:49 p.m.
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    This whole thing bothers me. While it's obvious that an altercation was in progress this officer seems to be a bit over his head in the crowd. Body slamming a student is never okay but it looks like he grabbed her without looking at who he grabbed. The fact that she was on a chair (for whatever reason) may have made him perceive a much larger individual. He also seems immediately remorseful, then he appears to escort her out while holding one of her arms behind her. That leads me (IMHO-for i can offer no more) to believe that the confusion and intensity of the situation was more than one officer could handle. Combined with his good record, I have trouble thinking he meant to hurt this young lady. My prayers are with both sides. I hope the truth finds its way onto the national news, too.

  • Ben Hill Mar 4, 12:24 a.m.
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    MY daughter wouldn't be acting like these girls were, so she would not be in a situation where an officer would have to respond to her. It's called parenting. Too bad the people raising these girls aren't doing it.

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