'No justification:' North Carolina sheriff's deputy fired after caught on video body-slamming child

The incident occurred at Vance County Middle School.

December 16, 2019, 12:22 PM

A sheriff's deputy caught on security video twice body-slamming a child under the age of 12 at a North Carolina middle school was fired on Monday morning and state investigators are deciding whether to file criminal charges against him, officials said.

The deputy's termination is "effective immediately," Vance County, North Carolina, Sheriff Curtis Brame told ABC station WTVD in Durham, North Carolina.

The disturbing incident occurred on Thursday at the Vance County Middle School in Henderson, about 40 miles northeast of Durham.

"When we first saw the video ... we were shocked," Brame told ABC News. "I don't expect my deputy or any deputy, or law enforcement in North Carolina to carry out their duties in that way."

PHOTO: Vance County Middle School in Henderson, N.C.
Vance County Middle School in Henderson, N.C.
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The deputy's name has not been released.

In the school surveillance video, the deputy, a school resource officer, is seen walking with the child down a hallway when suddenly he lunges at the boy, lifts him off the ground and slams him to the floor on his back. Without checking the child for injuries, the deputy picks the student up again and throws him to the floor a second time and drags him down the hall and out of the view of the camera, according to the footage.

Brame said that after viewing the video, he placed the deputy on paid leave of absence and called in the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to launch a use-of-force probe.

Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said the boy, whose name was not released, suffered minor injuries.

"This is just a stunning kind of incident. I don't see any justification at this point for that officer's behavior and action," Waters said.

Waters said he expects to make a decision early this week on whether to charge the now-fired deputy or take the case to a grand jury.

The video does not include audio and Brame said the former deputy has yet to explain what prompted his violent reaction.

"I don't know what was said," Waters told ABC News. "I don't think anything that was said or anything like that could justify his action. I don't think that will be relevant to any determination."

The incident comes less than a week after a Florida sheriff's deputy was caught on video slamming a 15-year-old student face-first into the pavement was fired.

I don't see any justification at this point for that officer's behavior and action

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony announced on Wednesday that Christopher Krickovich was terminated for excessive force despite the state's Professional Standards/Human Rights Committee's (PSHRC) recommendation to exonerate him of any wrongdoing for the incident that occurred on April 18.

Krickovich is seen on video allegedly pepper-spraying and slamming the teenager's face into the ground outside of a McDonald's in Tamarac, Florida, after responding to quell an afterschool fight, officials said. Sheriff's Sgt. Gregory LaCerra was also present and allegedly involved in the violent arrest.

Afterward, prosecutors alleged the two officers filed false charges against the teen in an attempt to cover up the attack. LaCerra and Krickovich were both charged with battery and falsifying records. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.