North Carolina officer charged in body-slamming incident
HENDERSON, N.C. (AP) — Misdemeanor charges have been filed in North Carolina against a school resource officer who was seen on video body-slamming a middle school student, a district attorney said Tuesday.
The officer, who was identified as Warren Durham, was fired earlier this week. Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said at a news conference that Durham will be charged with assault on a child under 12, misdemeanor child abuse and willful failure to discharge his duties.
All three charges carry a maximum penalty of 120 days in jail.
“I shared our findings with the family,” Waters said. “I think they’re disappointed and frustrated that this is not a felony case. However, this issue turns on the fact that this child was not more seriously injured.”
An officer was seen on surveillance video violently slamming a boy to the floor twice at a county middle school on Dec. 12 and then dragging him out of camera range. Waters said the boy was taken to a hospital emergency room for observation and treatment.
Waters said he didn’t know what prompted the incident, but he echoed the sentiment of Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame in saying that the cause wasn’t relevant.
“Ï don’t think there’s any kind of training or anything like that that would lead someone to act in that way with an 11-year-old,” Waters said.
Durham surrendered to authorities in Warren County, where he lives, and was given a $10,000 bond. It wasn’t known on Tuesday if he has an attorney who could comment.