South Carolina Officer Placed On Administrative Leave After Violent Arrest At School Is Posted On YouTube

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 7.13.14 AMThe video below has caused a public outcry after a South Carolina school resource officer identified as Richland County Sheriff’s Department Senior Deputy Ben Fields is shown tossing a female high school student to the floor and dragging her from a classroom after she refused to get up and leave with him. Fields has been placed on paid administrative leave.

benfieldsFields, shown right from a Twitter photo, was reportedly called in because the student would not get off her cellphone or leave the class as instructed. The 15-second video shows Fields asking the student “Are You Coming With Me or am I Going to Make You? Come on. I’m going to get you up.” What follows is the scuffle where the student ends up on the floor and being pulled by Fields. Fields is heard saying “I’ll put you in jail next.”

The site Heavy has reported that Fields in the subject of a lawsuit alleging violations of the civil rights of a student at Spring Valley High School. The student, Ashton James Reese, was expelled in 2013 from the high school for “unlawful assembly of gang activity and assault and battery” and was also accused of participating in a “gang related” fight in a Walmart parking lot near the school. In the lawsuit, he is accused of “recklessly target[ing] African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity.”

The Columbia mayor has denounced Fields and said “We cannot and will not accept this kind of behavior from any law enforcement officer and I firmly believe that we need an independent investigation to get to the bottom of this incident and see that justice is done.”

Given that this was all about cellphone use, is there any justification for this level of force in your view?

420 thoughts on “South Carolina Officer Placed On Administrative Leave After Violent Arrest At School Is Posted On YouTube”

  1. And the beat goes on… in schools.

    Another 16 year old minor is assaulted in school by a uniformed officer… because water fountain.

  2. Airdog
    Your defense of assaulting a 16 year old female is appalling.
    Your inability to feel empathy for her loss of mother and grandmother is heartless.
    Your lack of compassion for her distraught place in time is cruel.

    1. Max-1 – the girl is in a school of 2000. It is unlikely her teacher knows her name much less any personal information about her. The school, might or might not have been told of the girl’s situation and they might or might not have passed the info on to her teachers.
      As a teacher, if you have a student like her with major life changes, you can expect some acting out. However, you cannot allow them to take over your classroom.

    2. Max-1
      1, October 30, 2015 at 1:53 am
      Your defense of assaulting a 16 year old female is appalling.
      Your inability to feel empathy for her loss of mother and grandmother is heartless.
      Your lack of compassion for her distraught place in time is cruel.
      I am certainly disappointed with Ari. The idea that assaulting a child, a female child by authority is justifiable in any measure stretches my imagination.

  3. Airdog
    Your anecdotes failed to include a uniformed officer manhandling minors to the point they end up injured.

    And those gorillas… They admired your ability to rough someone up on the play field. ie they welcomed another bully into their thug club .

  4. PS: Max-1 an anecdote: in 8th grade, in 1955, I recall distinctly a guy who was rude, nasty and vulgar toward a history teacher that most of us liked because he taught us well….let us ask questions that he answered if he could, or would look up if necessary. He worked long days to do this. After a request for the idiot kid to shut up and sit down, by others in the class, 3-4 of us grabbed him and threw him down on old 2nd story tubular fire escape (building was built in 1888) head first. Hard. He got kicked in the groin in the process. He didn’t come back…and he didn’t go running off to the principal either. He new the rules, but had just lost his head temporarily. He found it at the bottom of the tubular slide face down in the gravel.

    Shut up don’t mean stand up and run off at the mouth rudely to meek and likable people.. I did get a 1 day suspension for that incident (all 3-4 of us did) …but the teacher said thank you anyway, since it was the prissy dinks in admin who were upset. But not too much….just for “face.” In those days a “suspension” for 1-5 days meant you got your assignments from the school and did them at home and turned them in before returning. Or you didn’t get to return until you did. None of us dared not turn them in on time…parents saw to that.

    What has happened to those “street” protocols of our past? Other than in the tougher ghettos, it seems a lost art today….where your mouth alone still can get you “whupped.” I’m pretty sure I’m too idealistic in a mean sort of way …. but it worked then. Could it now?

    Yep, those “gorillas” stuck with me, but not because I thought they were unfair..they kept order in order. Not to mention we had to also face them later in gym classes or in sports…aaaaggghhh!! 🙂 Those of us who initially went off in to skilled trades where the competition was fierce, as I did, were ready for it…and when we went on to college we had manners and did well.

  5. Max-1 … I will “dare” it: because they are stupid, can never win long haul, and have no clue how to adapt to civil society.

    See, even among our peers we had to manage our manners or get a fat lip or worse. You gave some & you got some…that’s how it worked. Nobody went whining to Moma. School stuff was easy. The “block” was harder. You learned to get along or get thumped frequently.

    Just what was ,miss flower princess smart mouth trying to prove? Why did she feel entitled to disrupt a class? Other than being stupid as a slug I mean?

    If this is our brave new world, good luck to us. We’ll need it.

  6. Airdog
    It was me. 🙂

    You know, your reference of those “gorillas” stuck with you. Didn’t it?

    Imagine the memories this officer imparted among the student body…

    Now, dare comment about why AA youth dislike police, again?

  7. For whomever asked just when I was in high school…it was 1956-1960. We had no SRO’s…just 2-3 gorillas from sports ed who would yank you from your seat, more forcefully that this SRO did, and bounce you down the hall like a basket ball if you got smart with a teacher or administrator. Then if your peers thought you were wrong they’d thump your behind as well later. Acting out like some mouthy prissy dilettante was frowned upon even by your peers.

    BTW…it was not nirvana then either…even in junior high school we had weekly shake downs and searches for knives and guns. City schools were like that. No nonsense allowed. What has happened today?

  8. It is amazing that some Americans will lament other nations that limit FREE SPEECH in schools while seemingly just fine with a police state in our schools… Because FREEDUMB!

    Amy Goodman was all over police brutality in schools…

  9. Again, not even the other adult in the room, THE TEACHER, stood up for his student’s defense.

    1. Max-1 – there is a hierarchy in education. Once the administrator is in the classroom, it is no longer your classroom.

      BTW, I am watching a series on Netflix you might enjoy. Sense8. Little confusing or a lot confusing depending on how you look at it.

  10. Fascism…

    Arrest of the second student took place because that student objected to the abuse and assault she was witness too.

    Lawyer: Student in Deputy Video Injured, is in a Cast

    Rutherford will serve as legal counsel for both that student and 18-year-old Niya Kenny, who says she was arrested for standing up for her fellow classmate.

    “Niya was arrested for saying ‘is anybody going to do anything about this? How wrong is this? What is going on here, why is nobody stopping this?'” Rutherford said. “It was disturbing to hear Niya say that when he entered the room she knew that something was going to happen because they call him [Ben Fields] ‘Officer Slam.’ And all the other kids took their cell phones out because they knew something was going to happen. That’s wrong on so many levels.”

    He said the 16-year-old sustained injuries from the encounter with Field.

  11. Life is even harder now for the South Carolina teen assaulted by ex-Deputy Ben Fields — she’s in foster care

    In an interview with the Daily News, Todd Rutherford, the respected Columbia, S.C., attorney representing the assault victim of the recently terminated Deputy Ben Fields, revealed that his client, in addition to suffering injuries on her face, neck, and arm, is a recent orphan living in foster care.

    Q U E S T I O N:
    If she commits suicide, can we charge the officer with murder?
    (see RIL

    1. Max-1 – she is in foster care because she is an orphan. The SRO did not do that. CPS did that.

  12. Most math teachers allow calculators in class and for tests. That’s why vendors @ ballparks can’t make change when you buy popcorn. They pitifully ask, “How much do I owe you back.”

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