Video shows cop body-slamming high school girl in SC classroom
Update: Federal investigators, including the U.S. Department of Justice, have opened a civil rights investigation into the matter. ”The Columbia FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a student at Spring Valley High School,” FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas said in a statement Tuesday. “ The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence in order to determine whether a federal law was violated. As this is an ongoing investigation, per Department of Justice policy we are unable to comment further at this time.”
The FBI has been asked to investigate an incident at a South Carolina high school Monday in which a police officer appeared to body slam a female student and drag her across a classroom.
The confrontation, captured on cellphone video at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, has drawn intense criticism on social media, from the school district’s Black Parents Association — the student is African-American — and the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina, which called the deputy’s actions “egregious.”
“There is no justification whatsoever for treating a child like this,” the ACLU said in a statement.
In a news conference, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Curtis Wilson, identified the deputy in the video as Ben Fields, one of two school resource officers assigned to Spring Valley. Fields had been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation, Wilson said, adding that the officer was declining interview requests.
Fields, who is white, is named as a defendant in a 2013 federal lawsuit that claims he “unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity.”
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