Ben Fields, Police Officer Who Threw Pupil Across Classroom In South Carolina, Is Fired

Officer Who Threw Pupil Across Classroom Is Fired... But Schoolgirl Is Blamed For 'Starting' It

The American police officer who violently threw a schoolgirl onto the floor and tossed her across the classroom has been fired, it was announced on Wednesday.

Deputy Ben Fields was caught on camera slamming the pupil to the ground at her school in South Carolina after she refused to leave the classroom.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said that Mr Fields' actions were "unacceptable" as the girl posed no threat to anyone. Consequently, the officer has been "terminated" from the force.

But he later added that girl, who was confronted after she refused to hand over her mobile phone, "started this whole incident".

The sheriff said: "What he should not have done is throw the student.

"Police officers make mistakes too. They're human and they need to be held accountable, and that's what we've done with Deputy Ben Fields," the Associated Press reports.

Footage showed the officer looming over the girl, then grabbing her, throwing her to the floor and dragging her towards the door.

Both the student filmed on camera and another pupil are still facing misdemeanor charges of disturbing schools, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or 90 days in jail, Lott said.

Deputy Ben Fields

"The student was not allowing the teacher to teach and not allowing the students to learn. She was very disrespectful and she started this whole incident."

Sheriff Lott said: "It doesn't justify his actions. But again, she needs to be held responsible for what she did."

Describing what the officer did wrong, the sheriff said: "When you make an arrest of someone who does not have a weapon, you never let go of the subject. When he threw her across the room, he let go of her. That's what violates our policy.

"She wasn't a danger at that point; she was just being non-compliant and disrespectful. You try to de-escalate a situation. And when you do have to put your hands on someone, there are other techniques we use."

Lott said he would not describe Fields as remorseful, but rather sorry it all happened.

He thanked students for filming the incident and bringing it to his attention.

The video began circulating widely on social media prompting the hashtag #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh.

James Manning, chairman of the school board, called the video "extremely disturbing" in an email statement Monday evening. He said the use of force appears "excessive and unnecessary." Fields, said Manning, has been banned from all school property.


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