D.A. says deputy used appropriate force with 15-year-old girl

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A district attorney said that he will not be pursuing action against a school resource officer that a family accuses of putting a girl in a chokehold.

Onslow County District Attorney Ernie Lee said that his office has reviewed the case of a Swansboro High School deputy restraining of 15-year-old Jazaria Nixon.

Lee said that the amount of force used by the SRO was reasonable and that he was justified in physically restraining the student.

Nixon was being detained by the deputy after punching another girl she said had been using racial slurs against her.

Nixon told WITN that she was having trouble breathing due to the deputy being on top of her and said she was in a chokehold.

Lee said, “That it was not a chokehold he in fact he had his arm on her upper chest area. She was able to breathe. She was able to talk. She was able to yell. She’s able to use certain language. I found it was not a chokehold. In my review of the incident, there is no evidence the SRO acted in any manner that was inconsistent with the situation he perceived and certainly no evidence that the SRO acted anyway contrary to or in violation of North Carolina law.”

Ebony Nixon, Jazaria’s aunt, said she spoke with the district attorney this morning and was not happy with his decision.

In a text response to WITN, Ebony Nixon said in part, “Like what is it going to take for this country to start caring about how black men, women, and most importantly children are treated here? Just know that this is far from over. We’re aware that if we want folks held accountable for their shady actions that we have to step outside of Onslow County which we’re prepared to do.”

Lee said he was not there to reward anyone, help, or go after anyone, and says his only desire was to find out the truth based on all the evidence provided. And he says he believes that happened in this investigation.

Lee had one final word for children in schools. “When I was growing up my parents taught me that first of all you should acknowledge and respect authority and if something is wrong you handle it after the fact. I think that is something sometimes is lacking in our society not just with kids, also with adults frankly that I deal with.”

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