Officer Involved in Violent Student Arrest Has Been Fired, Has History of Using Excessive Force

A South Carolina sheriff announced this morning that the police officer who was caught on camera earlier this week violently assaulting a Black female student has been fired. It has also been discovered that he has a history of using excessive force, particularly against Black individuals.

CNN reports that two years ago, former Spring Valley High School student Ashton James Reese filed a lawsuit against Fields, alleging that the officer unlawfully expelled him after accusing him of being involved with gang activity. The trial is still pending. In 2007, a Richland County couple says that Fields violated their civil rights after wrongfully accusing them of being the source of a noise violation and violently arresting them. The lawsuit was dismissed.

South Carolina Police Officer Violently Arrests Black Female Student During Class

This week’s incident isn’t the first time that Fields, the school’s campus resource officer, who also serves as a football coach, has become violent with students. Tweets from teens at the school reveal that many students feared the officer’s imposing stature—they oftentimes described him as looking like a bodybuilder, and YouTube videos show that Fields is an avid weightlifter—and he reportedly slammed a pregnant student to the ground in 2012.

District officials, who have issued statements claiming that Fields is dating a Black woman, have asked both the state FBI and the Department of Justice to launch a civil rights investigation into the incident.