Students at Spring Valley High School watched, with at least three video cameras rolling, as Deputy Ben Fields ordered the student out of her seat. When she refused Fields can be seen on the video pulling her backwards over her student desk with one of his arms wrapped around her neck. He then drags her to the front of the classroom, pins her to the ground and orders her hands behind her back.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott watched the video and was “very disturbed by it,”department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson said.
“He has questions like everyone has — and he wants answers and once he has those answers, he will address them,” Wilson said.Fields has been placed on administrative leave as the department investigates the incident. It is unclear what led up to the incident. The student was not injured.
Parents of students at the school are outraged by the incident, calling it “egregious” and “unacceptable.” The school district’s Black Parents Association issued a statement saying, “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.”
“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.”
Several videos of the incident, from several angles, have emerged on social media, sparking further outrage. The Rev. Jesse Jackson called for Fields to be fired.