Religious Leaders Want SRO Removed After Student Arrest

Religious Leaders Want SRO Removed After Student Arrest

4:05pm Oct 10, 2018
Members of the Ministers' Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity speaking at Emmanuel Baptist Church and calling for the resignation of the School Resource Officer at Hanes Middle School. BETHANY CHAFIN/WFDD

Religious leaders and advocacy groups in Winston-Salem are calling for the dismissal of a white school resource officer after they say he used excessive force in the arrest of a black student at Hanes Middle School.

A video posted Friday to Facebook appears to show the arrest of 14-year-old Rockell Baldwin. In it, Baldwin is held face down on the ground in a parking lot by School Resource Officer Tyler McCormick.

Dr. A.G. Carlton Eversley with the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity is calling the treatment unacceptable.

“This is a clear example of racism," he says. "We want it addressed. We don’t want somebody, supposedly sworn to protect and serve, dehumanizing and traumatizing, and [he] should not be employed.”

The Winston-Salem Police Department says in a statement that McCormick was responding to an incident of disorderly conduct. McCormick is currently assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau and is not serving as an SRO pending administrative review of the incident. The officer was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident.

The department has not offered additional information due to state law prohibiting the release of juvenile justice records.

Support your
public radio station