Third Video Shows Girl Hitting Officer Who Was Filmed Dragging Her From Desk, Sheriff Says
A violent video of a high school resources cop apparently dragging a student from her desk after she refused to hand over her cell phone has gone viral.
A third video exists of a South Carolina campus cop dragging a female high school student from her desk, and it shows the girl resisting and hitting the officer, authorities said.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told a press conference Tuesday that the footage came from a student in the class room.
An internal investigation of the video, which Lott called disturbing, is expected to be completed by Wednesday and will determine whether the officer keeps his job.
The third video was not shown during the media briefing. The officer has been suspended without pay, authorities said.
Federal investigators have been brought in to investigate the takedown of the student at Spring Valley High School outside Columbia. It was captured in now-viral footage.
The violent video showed school resource Deputy Ben Fields throwing the student from her desk and dragging her across the floor after she reportedly refused to hand over her cell phone.
Fields has previousy been accused of excessive force and targeting black suspects. Lott said at Tuesday's press conference that he had not ever seen the deputy exhibiting racist behavior.
He was sued by Carlos Martin, who in 2005 claimed that Fields beat him during a confrontation outside his South Carolina home.
“All the women and children are outside watching him beat me. He takes out a whole can of mace and uses a whole can of mace on me so I did what I was trained as a soldier,” Martin, who served as a Sergeant in Iraq, told INSIDE EDITION. “I bury my face in my arms, I close my eyes and I hold my breath.”
Martin was charged with a noise violation, disturbing the peace and assaulting an officer, but was found not guilty on all charges, he told IE. He sued Fields, but the case was dismissed.
In 2013, a student expelled from the same school accused the deputy, who is white, of targeting black students for allegedly saying the student was a gang member. The case is scheduled for trial in January, the Associated Press reported.
In a third lawsuit, a woman accused Fields and another deputy of battery and violating her civil rights during a 2006 arrest. It was dismissed in 2009.
Calls from INSIDE EDITION to the sheriff's department were not returned.
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) October 27, 2015
The incident occurred Monday. Some outraged parents issued statements.
A group calling itself the Richland Two Black Parents Association called the video “egregious” and “unacceptable,” WTVR reported.
The video shows a female student apparently sitting at her desk, as the school resources officer stands over her. He pulls her by the arm, then overturns her desk and drags her across the classroom floor as pupils look on.
The sound quality is poor, but shouts and curses can be heard in the background. At one point, the officer appears to ask the student if she was going to get up, "Or are you going to make me?" he says.
The student is seen facedown on the floor as the officer says repeatedly says: "Give me your hands."
The girl allegedly did not respond to a request from the officer to stand up, authorities said. He had been called to the room because the student was reportedly acting up in class.
"Our district is deeply concerned about an incident that occurred at Spring Valley High School today," said Richland School District Two Superintendent Libby Roof, the station reported.
Fields’ methods have been called into question before. He was sued by Carlos Martin who in 2005 claimed that Fields beat him during a confrontation outside his South Carolina home.
The incident has garnered national attention, including from presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
"There is no excuse for violence inside a school. The #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh is unacceptable—schools should be safe places," Clinton tweeted, signing the post "-H," indicating she wrote it herself.
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