After a video went viral yesterday showing a South Carolina school resource officer throwing a young Black girl across a classroom, the county’s sheriff’s office has reached out to both the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate the incident, reports local television station WISTV.
Yesterday afternoon, students at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina uploaded videos to social media showing the school’s resource officer Ben Fields approaching a Black female student, who was reportedly told to leave the classroom for using a cell phone. The officer then grabbed the girl by her arm and neck, dragging both she and the desk before the desk flipped over. Fields then threw the unnamed student across the classroom and knelt on her back to arrest her. Richland School District Two officials say that Fields, who also doubled as the school’s football coach, has been placed on unpaid leave until the investigation is over.
Just hours after the incident, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said that he had called on both the state FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice to launch investigations into the incident.
“The public wants answers,” Lott told WISTV. “I want answers, too, and we’re going to get them very quickly, and we’re going to make sure the public knows what we’re going to do and why we’re going to do it. There’s nothing that we’re going to hide at the Sheriff’s Department.”
The district’s Black parents association is also demanding answers.
“It hurt because I have a daughter in Richland Two,” Dr. Hugh Harmon, the association’s chairman told WISTV. “She’s in elementary about to go into middle school. To get a phone call that that would have happened to my daughter, I don’t know how I would have responded.”