South Carolina school officer fired after been caught on video throwing student


© Handout . / Reuters

Richland County Sheriff’s Department Officer Senior Deputy Ben Fields is pictured with Karen Beaman (R), Principal of Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School after receiving Culture of Excellence Award at Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina on November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Richland County Sheriff’s Department/Handout

Krist Muñoz-Malavé, Staff Writer

Ben Fields, a South Carolina school officer, was fired after he was caught on video throwing a student to the ground during a classroom arrest, CNN reported.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott explained his reason for firing Fields in a statement,  “The fact that he picked the student up and he threw the student across the room — that is not a proper technique, and should not be used in law enforcement.”

According to Reuters, the FBI is currently looking into whether Fields actually committed a crime or not. The former sheriff deputy’ attorney, Scott J. Hayes , released a statement saying, “We believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident.”

Lott also believes that although his actions were enough to get him fired, he should not be charged criminally because “When the officer puts his hands on her initially, she reaches up and she pops the officer with her fist,” CNN said, as well as, “She was very disruptive, she was very disrespectful and she started this whole incident with her actions,” according to Reuters.

However, Lott was the one who personally had an issue with Fields’ use of violence for he explained that the teachers and administration that watched the encounter had no issue. “They had no problems with the physical part. I’m the one who had a problem with it,” he said.

While Lott stated that the girl had not been hurt, her attorney Todd Rutherford, told ABC’s Good Morning America that she has several injuries after being “brutally attacked.”

“She now has a cast on her arm, she has neck and back injuries. She has a Band-Aid on her forehead where she suffered rug burn,” the lawyer said.

According to CNN, a fellow classmate, Niya Kenny, 18, knew Fields had a reputation in the school for his aggressive tactics and had been dubbed “Officer Slam” so she told her fellow classmates “get your phones out. Get your phones out. I think this is going downhill.”

This nickname is not exclusive to Kenny’s using as her attorney, Simone Martin, said that she has been told of the nickname “by a number of the students that he is referred to as Officer Slam as opposed to Officer Fields. And that’s telling.”

Although the people have taken to social media to express their opinions with #IStandWithBenFields  or #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh, exactly what the future holds for Fields is unknown as the FBI continue their investigation.