A Rolesville police officer who was shown on a viral video dropping a high school student to the floor has resigned.
Officer Ruben De Los Santos submitted his resignation letter on Thursday, according to a Friday press release from the Rolesville Police Department. De Los Santos had been on paid administrative leave since a nine-second video was posted on Twitter on Jan. 3 showing the school resource officer picking up student Jasmine Darwin and dropping her to the floor.
Rolesville Police Chief Bobby Langston praised De Los Santos and thanked him for his service in Friday’s announcement.
“During Officer De Los Santos tenure with the Town, he was respected by his peers and the community at large,” Langston said in a written statement. “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 longstanding character of the officer.”
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the Jan. 3 incident at Langston’s request. Langston said that if the SBI determines a criminal matter occurred, the findings will be submitted to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman for further decisions.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison is conducting an internal affairs investigation at Langston’s request to determine if any Rolesville policies were violated.
Police say De Los Santos was breaking up a “premeditated” fight at Rolesville High School involving three female students. But an attorney for Darwin’s family says the student had been trying to break up a fight between two other girls when she was “slammed on the ground like a rag doll” and suffered a concussion.