Student’s violent arrest caught on video; officer under investigation

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RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — A school district in South Carolina is investigating the actions of a school resource officer after video circulated widely on social media Monday showing him violently removing a student from her desk.

It’s not known what led up to the incident Monday at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.

WIS-TV reported the student was asked to leave the classroom. When she refused, the officer was called in, according to WIS-TV.

The officer, identified as Ben Fields, can be heard on cell phone video telling the girl to get up from her desk.

“You’re either going to come with me, or I’m going to make you,” he says.

When she remains seated, he tells her, “Come on, I’m going to get you up,” before picking her up from the desk and throwing her to the floor.

As he continues to try to restrain her, she is thrown several feet across the classroom as the officer tells her repeatedly to put her hands behind her back.

Richland School District Two Superintendent Dr. Debbie Hamm said in a statement that safety is the district’s “top priority,” and that officials are working with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in an investigation.

A school district in South Carolina is investigating the actions of school resource officer Sr. Deputy Ben Fields, after video circulated widely on social media Monday showing him violently removing a student from her desk.

A school district in South Carolina is investigating the actions of school resource officer Sr. Deputy Ben Fields, after video circulated widely on social media Monday showing him violently removing a student from her desk.

“The district will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students,” Hamm said.

The officer has been told not to return to school during the investigation and has been placed on administrative leave by the Sheriff’s Department.

The video was trending on Facebook and the hashtag #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh was the No. 1 trending topic Twitter on Monday night as people reacted to the incident. Many expressed shock at the force used, while others noted the girl was not complying with the officer’s demands.

Facebook users inundated the Richland County Sheriff’s Department with comments expressing outrage over the officer’s actions and called for his firing.

A spokesman for the department said Sheriff Leon Lott is aware of the video and “was very disturbed by it.”

“He has questions like everyone has — and he wants answers and once he has those answers, he will address them,” said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson.

Fields did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment Monday night.

Parents of students at the high school are reacting to the video. A group called the “Richland Two Black Parents Association” called the video “unacceptable.”

“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,” the group said in a statement, according to WIS-TV. “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.”

A second, longer video has also surfaced, showing more of the incident.

Warning: This video contains strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.

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