Lawyer: Teen Suffered Several Injuries in Classroom Arrest

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Manhandling of S.C. student part of wider discipline problem, parents say.

Some parents of students at Spring Valley High School say they were saddened but not surprised by a video showing a school resource officer getting into an intense confrontation with a student.U.S. federal authorities said yesterday they are investigating whether a deputy’s arrest of a student who refused to leave her high school math class violated federal civil rights laws.The Richland County sheriff is reviewing a third video, shot from a different angle, as more students speak out about the disturbing scene of a police officer body-slamming a 16-year-old female student at a South Carolina high school. A group calling themselves the Richland Two Black Parents Association has called for a Justice Department investigation into what they say are long-standing discriminatory practices by the school district.

Sheriff Leon Lott claims the new video shows the female student hitting Senior Deputy Ben Fields before he pulls her to the ground and drags her across the floor. South Carolina’s National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People president, Lonnie Randolph Jr., denied that, saying “race is indeed a factor.” “To be thrown out of her seat as she was thrown, and dumped on the floor . . .

Another attendee, who acknowledged that she knows Fields and was surprised by the video, told the board, “That child in the classroom was given ample opportunity to comply,” adding later, “She chose to be defiant.” On Tuesday, Lott said that he’s not analyzing the student’s behavior — only his officer’s response. He also said that he doubts whether race played a role in the incident, noting that Fields “has been dating an African-American woman for ‘quite some time,’ ” as the AP reports. Rebecca Woodford, a mother of Spring Valley students, told local WSPA news: “My daughters all love him.” Woodford insisted the incident was not racially related, although many white and black complainants at the hearing argued it was. “This is not a race issue,” she said. “This deputy is actually dating a black woman.” County resident Kyle Lacio told the local outlet he believed the opposite: “If that was a white girl sitting there at the desk, whatever the situation was, you wouldn’t have seen her being thrown across the room.” “The amount of force used on a female student by a male officer appears to me to be excessive and unnecessary,” Manning said. Hamm also released a statement, saying the district is “deeply concerned” and “student safety is and always will be the district’s top priority.

Kenny shot one of the two initial videos. “I just told my class, ya’ll get ya’ll’s cameras out,” Kenny explained. “Because, like, we already know his reputation. The most recent case, set for trial in January, stems from a 2013 complaint that he “unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity.” A previous case from 2007 was settled in Fields’s favor. The district will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students.” Lott told reporters he “wanted to throw up” after watching the video, but added that he doubted any racial element to the incident, in part because Fields has dated an African American woman for “quite some time”. He was known as ‘Officer Slam.'” Fields was called into the classroom when the student in the video refused a teacher’s request to go to the disciplinary office.

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