The Vance County District Attorney said the law would not allow him to file felony charges against the School Resource Officer who slammed a middle school student to the ground.
On Tuesday, DA Mike Waters said "by the grace of God," the 11-year-old boy was not seriously injured and had no fractures or broken bones. Waters said the extent of the injuries dictated that Vance Middle SRO Warren Durham could not be charged with a felony by North Carolina law.
However, Durham was charged with assault on a child under 12 and misdemeanor child abuse. He was issued a $10,000 bond; he posted that and has since been released with an order to return to court on Feb. 3.
The officer was fired Monday after being placed on administrative leave when the video in question came to light Thursday. The video shows the officer throwing a 6th-grade student at Vance County Middle School to the ground twice before dragging the student down the hall.
The incident happened Dec. 12.
It's not known what led to the altercation. Durham has no prior convictions.
Pastor John Miles, the student's grandfather, said he was disappointed the charges were misdemeanors. He called Durham's actions "a disgrace to God."
"I am not happy about the misdemeanor charges," Miles said. "We wanted it to be felony charges. As the DA just said, they went by the law book and they went by the guideline."
"My grandson said to me last night, 'Granddaddy, what did I do to deserve this?' I said to my grandson, 'You haven't done anything.'"
Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame said the video "stunned" him when he first saw it. He even asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to open a case into what happened.
In addition to the surveillance video, another parent at the school said the same officer pushed her daughter into a locker.
"Took her to the emergency room," Roslyn Wynn said. "She has a dislocated shoulder, on her left side. Everything where she was slammed against the locker - all of this is broke. This is like, dislocated. She has a sling on. She has a sprain in her neck."
School district leaders said they are now investigating that incident too.
Surveillance video shows middle school student being slammed, dragged; viewer's discretion is advised: