South Carolina Officer Ben Fields Was Just Fired

October 28th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

The South Carolina deputy who flipped a 15-year-old Spring Valley High School student as she sat in her chair and dragged her across the classroom floor has been fired, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a press conference Wednesday. The decision comes two days after video of the incident emerged on social media

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Following an internal investigation, Lott was advised that Deputy Ben Fields "did not follow proper training, did not follow procedure, when he threw the student across the room."

"From the very beginning that's what's caused me to be upset when I first saw that video, and continues to upset me when I see that video, is the fact that he picked that student up and he threw the student across the room" Lott said. "That is not a proper technique and it should not be used by law enforcement."

Two videos of the incident circulated online, prompting investigations from the Justice Department and FBI. Students, civil rights advocates, and many social media users have called for Fields to be fired; until today, however, it was uncertain what would happen to the Spring Valley High School "school resource officer."

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Lott initially defended Fields, arguing that a third video of the encounter showed the student punching the deputy and that the situation could have been avoided if the girl had simply complied with her teacher's requests. Peers have suggested that the student was using her phone during class, but the situation quickly escalated when Fields was called in for assistance.

"The student was wrong in what she did—she disrupted class, she was disturbing the others students from getting an education," Lott said Tuesday. "But does her actions meet the level of what this officer did?"

Lott and investigators at the Richland County Sheriff's Office apparently determined that her actions did not meet that level.

Here's how people are reacting to the termination of Ben Fields on Twitter.

BREAKING: Disturbing new video of a police officer using force...

BREAKING: Disturbing new video of a police officer using force against a student in South Carolina.More details here: http://bit.ly/1GvwGtN

Posted by ATTN: on Monday, October 26, 2015