Officer to be fired in South Carolina classroom altercation: MSNBC

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Lawyer: Teen suffered several injuries in classroom arrest.

An official announcement on the fate of Richland County Senior Deputy Ben Fields has yet to come, but the network said sources gave early word of Sheriff Leon Lott’s plan to oust the out-of-control officer. 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.COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The attorney for a teen who was flipped backward out of her desk and tossed across a classroom says his client did suffer several injuries during her arrest. — The Richland County sheriff will announce the results of an internal investigation into the actions by one of his officers at a South Carolina high school at noon Wednesday.

Fields has earned days of nationwide scorn for a video showing him slamming a student at Spring Valley High School to the ground Monday, then dragging her through a classroom. She has a Band-Aid on her forehead where she suffered rug burn on her forehead,” Rutherford told the network. “We’re going to handle it appropriately and we’re going to handle it very quickly. The attack shocked local officials and national politicians, and Fields’ own boss called the video “disturbing.” It also incited accusations of racist policing, since Fields is white and the student, who hasn’t been named, is black. When she doesn’t get up from her desk, the officer wraps a forearm around her neck, flips her and the desk backward onto the floor, tosses her toward the front of the classroom and handcuffs her.

Lott, who rushed home from an out of town conference when the news broke, said that a teacher and vice principal in the classroom at the time felt the officer acted appropriately. Lott said the initial video made him want to “throw up.” But he also pointed out that the girl can be seen trying to strike the officer as she was being taken down. Some, black and white alike, said the issue wasn’t based on race, and, while the officer may have used unnecessary force, the whole incident shows that teachers and administrators need to work harder on finding ways to handle defiant students. “If that was my daughter … that officer being fired would be the least of his worries,” Conwell said. “We are sick and tired of black women being abused.

The sheriff, for his part, said race won’t factor into his evaluation: “It really doesn’t matter to me whether that child had been purple,” Lott said. She said she took her phone out, but it was only for a quick second, you know, please, she was begging, apologetic.” Lott said there have been school resource officers in the county ever since he has been sheriff for the last 19 years. When they won’t get up, when they won’t put up the phone, they’re silly, disobedient kids — not criminals,” said John Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization. In another case, a federal jury sided with Fields after a black couple accused him of excessive force and battery during a noise complaint arrest in 2005.

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