South Carolina Officer on Leave after Confrontation in Classroom

A South Carolina police officer has been put on administrative leave following a violent confrontation with a student in a classroom on Monday. 

The incident at Spring Valley High School was caught on cell phone video. 

It shows Deputy Ben Fields slamming a female student to the ground after she refused to get up from her desk, and then dragging her across the classroom. 

According to police, the student was asked to leave the classroom. When she refused, Deputy Fields was called in to arrest her for disturbing class. 

In a news conference Tuesday,  officials with the school district said they have zero tolerance for what occurred. They vowed to work closely with the community, the superintendent, and the school board to make sure a “horrific” episode like this does not happen again.  

A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Investigation has been opened to look into the matter. 

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office are also investigating the incident. 

Deputy Fields was the subject of two lawsuits over the last ten years. 

In 2007, a couple claimed he used excessive force when questioning them about a noise complaint.  The husbands says Field slammed him to the ground, handcuffed him and began kicking him.  A jury ruled in Fields’ favor. 

In 2013, a student filed a claim against Fields saying he falsely accused him of being involved in a gang, leading to him being expelled from school. 

That lawsuit is still ongoing. 

Deputy Fields has been working for the school district for seven years. In 2014, he was awarded the Culture of Excellence Award for what the school district says is being an exceptional role model to students. 

The NAACP has spoken out on the student’s arrest, as she is African American, saying they are deeply concerned with the assault of a student, calling it a “very sad” and very damaging event for the teen to be treated in the manner she was. 

Others have defended Deputy Fields saying the video doesn’t show what happened leading up to the incident. 

Categories: Crime-imported, News-imported, Police-imported