A North Carolina sheriff suspended a deputy who was caught on tape violently slamming a middle school student onto the floor, twice, officials said.
The troubling incident happened at Vance County Middle School, about 45 miles north of downtown Raleigh, with the school reporting it to district officials on Thursday.
School surveillance video showed the Vance County sheriff's deputy walking down a hallway with a child before he suddenly picks up the youngster and throws him to the ground, NBC affiliate WRAL showed.
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Moments later, the deputy picks up the prone child from the ground and slams him to the floor again, the footage shows.
"We are aware of the incident that occurred at Vance County Middle School involving a school resource officer," the district said in a statement. "We are deeply concerned by the actions that took place. School and district officials are working closely and in full cooperation with the local authorities to address this matter consistent with school board policy and state laws."
Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame said he was thinking of his own grandchildren as he watched the video.
"I was stunned, I was shocked," Brame told WRAL. "To see a child that small reminded me of one of my grandchildren."
Brame has brought in the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to conduct the probe.
The deputy was placed on paid leave pending the investigation.
"This is a use-of-force case," Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said. "I've been able to assure the family that this (investigation) is being conducted appropriately."
Sheriff Brame said he was not aware of any previous complaints about this deputy. It also wasn't clear what the child might have said or done leading up to the body slams, but Brame said.
The child, who is under 12, has a bump on his head from the incident but was not hospitalized, his mother said.