A video has emerged showing a school officer, Ben Fields, ripping a black student out of her desk during class, slamming her to the ground and dragging her across the floor.
The student had been “verbally disruptive” and non-participatory and was asked to leave class, according to the school. She consistently refused, which the officer considered “resisting arrest,” and that’s when he physically assaulted her.
Fields, who has been accused of violent behavior in the past but has also received accolades for his service, has been suspended and is not allowed to go on the campus of any local school. The Sheriff’s Department is conducting an investigation and the FBI may also be involved.
Writer and activist Shaun King shared an email response he received from the school district secretary. It reads:
“The officer is on administrative leave, without pay. I am adamant that the Resource Officer in question will not return to any Richland Two School. […] We want our students to be safe and feel safe at all times.”
Another student, Niya Kenny, was arrested for what she says was just “standing up” for the assaulted student.
Debates continue about the incident. CNN’s Don Lemon trended on Twitter today after arguing on the air that the officer’s actions could have been justified – while his guest Sunny Hostin argued angrily that the student was a young girl and such behavior was not acceptable.