South Carolina Deputy Fired after Classroom Confrontation
A South Carolina deputy has been fired from the force after cell phone video surfaced showing him slamming a female student to the ground, and dragging her across the classroom.
Deputy Ben Fields was originally placed on administrative leave after the incident at Spring Valley High School on Monday.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said on Wednesday that Fields did not follow proper procedure and violated department policy during the arrest, and he was terminated.
The incident unraveled Monday when the student was asked to leave the classroom. When she refused, Deputy Fields was called in to arrest her for disturbing class.
According to police, the girl ignored requests from the officer to move out of her desk. That’s when he grabbed her and flipped her backwards out of her desk, before dragging her across the classroom.
A criminal investigation has been launched. The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have stepped in to assist in the investigation.
The Department of Justice has also opened a civil rights probe into 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 his expulsion from school.
That lawsuit is still pending.
Deputy Fields worked for the school district for seven years. Just last year he was awarded the Culture of Excellence Award for what the school district says is being an exceptional role model to students.