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N.C. School Resource Officer Who Threw Student to the Ground Resigns

Rolesville Police Officer Ruben De Los Santos was recorded on video in the Jan. 3 incident, and an investigation is underway.
IMAGE: N.C. school officer throws girl to the ground
Video of a resource officer throwing a teenage girl to the ground Tuesday at Rolesville, North Carolina, High School quickly went viral.Christina Harris

The North Carolina high school resource officer who was videotaped throwing a girl to the ground in January has resigned, the town of Rolesville said Friday.

Rolesville Police Officer Ruben De Los Santos had been placed on paid administrative leave after the Jan. 3 incident during a fight between students at Rolesville High School.

The video, which went viral, was condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union as a "disturbing use of force ... that should never be used against kids in schools." The school’s principal said she was "deeply concerned about what I saw in the video."

De Los Santos, a five-year officer with the police department, tendered his resignation on Thursday and it was accepted, the town's government said in a statement.

The case is currently under investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and Wake County Sheriff’s Internal Affairs Section.

Rolesville Police Chief Bobby Langston said in a statement that De Los Santos was an officer respected by his peers and the community, and that he was selected as the department’s 2016 Officer of the Year.

"In this profession, law enforcement officers must make split-second decisions in tense and rapidly evolving circumstances," Langston said in the statement. "Sometimes that split second decision doesn’t define the long standing character of the officer."