There are ways to get to the head of the class, but being thrown there by a muscular bully wearing a badge is so far out of bounds as to defy description. Fortunately, she was not seriously injured and we have a video of the incident filmed by one of her classmates. Without the video, who would believe that such a violent assault could have occurred in a classroom?
Her alleged crime: she caused a classroom disturbance by refusing her teacher’s order to put away her phone. He summoned Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Fields, a classroom resource officer assigned to the school. When she refused the deputy’s order to stand up, he went into action. Following her unscheduled flight to the head of the class, she ended up in jail along with a friend who dared to verbally object to what he was doing. Both were released to their parents.
I suppose we can all be grateful that he didn’t shoot her and later claim that he mistook her cell phone for a gun.
Welcome to Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Atlantic is reporting,
The resource officer, Senior Deputy Ben Fields, has been placed on administrative duties pending the results of an investigation, Lieutenant Curtis Wilson, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, said. The Richland 2 school district, in a statement, said Fields won’t return to any school in the district pending the investigation.
Tony Robinson Jr., a student who recorded the confrontation, told WLTX: “I’ve never seen anything so nasty looking, so sick to the point that you know, other students are turning away, don’t know what to do, and are just scared for their lives. That’s supposed to be somebody that’s going to protect us. Not somebody that we need to be scared of, or afraid.”
Sheriff Leon Lott said, “It’s very disturbing what happened today. It’s something I have to deal with and that’s what we’re going to be doing.” He asked the United States Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the matter.
Deputy Fields has been in trouble before, according to The Atlantic,
Fields, who has been with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office Department since 2004, joined the School Resource Officer Program in 2008. CNN reports that Fields was unsuccessfully sued in 2007 over the use of excessive force and the violation of free-speech rights. He is one of 10 defendants in another case, which is scheduled to go to trial in January, brought by a student who claims he was unlawfully expelled. But CNN also points out that Fields was was given a Culture of Excellence Award by a Richland County elementary school where he also worked last year as a school-resource officer.
The CNN link is here.
BREAKING NEWS: According to MSNBC, the DOJ has announced that it is opening a field office in Columbia to determine whether a civil rights violation occurred.