South Carolina sheriff’s deputy is in hot water after a video was posted online Monday showing him violently throwing a high school student from her desk in a classroom.
The video of the incident involving Richland County Senior Deputy Ben Fields surfaced just hours after it happened at Spring Valley High School. The school district and sheriff’s office say they are investigating.
Parents in a group called the Richland Two Black Parents Association told WIS-TV the video is “egregious and “unacceptable,” adding in a statement, “Parents are heartbroken as this is just another example of the intolerance that continues to be of issue in Richland School District Two particularly with families and children of color. As we have stated in the past, we stand ready to work in collaboration to address these horrible acts of violence and inequities among our children.”
Fields has been placed on administrative duty while the sheriff’s office investigates.
The girl in the video was arrested, the sheriff’s office said. Another student, who recorded the incident, was also arrested.
Deputy Ben Fields, of Columbia, pulls on her arm, moving the desk and the girl and then grabs hold of her shoulder and neck area. He turns over the desk, throwing it and the unnamed student to the ground. He then drags her toward the door, pulling the desk along with her and then throws her out of it before jumping on top of her to handcuff her as the video ends.
Students in the classroom sit silently, as a teacher also watches. In a second angle of the video, Fields can be heard telling another student, “I’ll put you in jail next.”
A second student was arrested for recording the incident, the sheriff’s department says.
The district told WLTX-TV in a statement, “We are aware of an incident that occurred today at Spring Valley High School. Video of it has been posted on social media. The incident is under investigation. We are working closely with the sheriff’s department.”
Sheriff Leon Lott told WIS-TV the officer was called because the student refused to leave class.
“The student was told she was under arrest for disturbing school and given instructions which she again refused,” Lott told the news station. “The video then shows the student resisting and being arrested by the SRO.”
The high school has about 2,000 students, according to the district’s website. Of those students, 52 percent are black and 30 percent are white.