Richland County Sheriff’s Department are investigating this incident after the footage – filmed at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina – emerged on social media. It shows the school’s resource officer asking the girl to get out of her seat. He stands over her desk and is heard saying: ‘Either you’re coming with me or I’m making you.’
But before the student has a chance to react, the officer holds her by the neck and flips the furniture over, slamming the girl to the ground, as her silent classmates watch in horror. She is then seen being dragged across the floor and pinned down as the officer shouts at her to put her hands behind her back.
According to WISTV, school officials confirmed that the incident occurred on Monday. Sheriff Leon Lott said the school’s resource officer, named as Ben Fields, was responding to a student who was refusing to leave class. The student was told she was under arrest for disturbing school and given instructions which she again refused. ‘The video then shows the student resisting and being arrested by the SRO.’
Buzzfeed reported that two students were arrested during the incident. The girl was released to her parents and a male student was reportedly detained. A spokesman for the sheriff’s department said the officer had been called to the classroom because a student was being disruptive. She had refused to leave the room when a teacher and a vice principal instructed her to do so. The spokesman added that no injuries were reported.
The New York Daily News reported the officer in question has a history of acting roughly with students. Fields is listed as a senior deputy assigned as a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School on the sheriff’s department website. On his now-deleted Twitter page, he describes himself as a Richland County deputy sheriff, a football coach and a strength coach at Spring Valley High School. He has been placed on administrative duty while the sheriff’s department conducts an investigation.