Ruben De Los Santos, the Roleseville police officer caught in a viral video slamming a high school student to the ground, has resigned.
According to a press release
from the Rolesville police department, De Los Santos submitted his resignation letter yesterday. He had been on paid administrative leave since the video made the rounds on social media in early January, triggering a backlash.
In a statement, Rolesville police chief Bobby Langston thanked De Los Santos for his work and said he was "even selected as 2016 Officer of the Year for the Town of Rolesville Police Department."
The State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the incident.
But, as the INDY reported
earlier this week, the video has galvanized local activists. At a forum last week with Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes, Sheriff Donnie Harrison, and Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles, among others, community members and parents expressed outrage over the video and pressed panelists for concrete answers on the role of police officers in schools and their interactions with minority students in particular. Some activists are calling on the school district to remove SROs from schools altogether, beginning with a 50 percent reduction over the next year, although that seems unlikely.
Below is the town’s press release, which describes the incident thusly:
On January 3, 2017, a fight involving three female students occurred at Rolesville High School, which has been determined to be premeditated. Wake County Public School System Staff and Rolesville Police Officer Ruben De Los Santos intervened in an effort to break up the fight to prevent injury. During the incident, Officer De Los Santos attempted to break up the fight and, in the process, a student was taken to the floor.
That passive phrasing is doing a lot of work in that last sentence.