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Thursday, July 11, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Inquiry Underway in S.C. After Alleged Cop Assault

(CN) - Authorities in South Carolina are investigating an incident during which a white police officer was videotaped roughing up a black female student at a Columbia, S.C. high school.

The videos, which were evidently shot by students in the classroom at Columbia's Spring Valley High School, show a sheriff's deputy entering the class room, talking to the teenager, then grabbing the student by the neck, flipping her backward, and dragging her across the floor.

After the videos went viral Monday night, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters that one of his deputies had responded to a call about a disruptive student who was refusing to leave a classroom after effectively bringing the day's lecture to an end.

Lott declined to identify either the student of the officer, but several published accounts said the officer was Ben Fields, one of two deputies assigned to the school.

A biography on the school district's website states Fields is also serves as both as the school football team's defensive line coach and its strength and conditioning coach.

The State newspaper reported that the girl and a male student were arrested after the incident on charges of disturbing the peace. The girl was later released to the custody of her parents.

Fields has been suspended from working at any schools in the Richland County School District Two pending the outcome of the investigation.

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