The incident at Spring Valley Student High School in Columbia, S.C. has become one of the most polarizing topics in the nation. While the general consensus is that Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Fields used excessive force against a Black female student, there was a statement made by his superior that the officer was struck first.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has been addressing the media, sharing details of what he’s learned in his investigation of the currently demoted Fields. While Sheriff Lott wrestles with whether or not he’ll fire Fields and agreeing that his actions were extreme, he mentioned that another video showed the student being disruptive and actually striking the officer.
One of the videos from inside the math classroom at Spring Valley High School shows the student resisting, according to Lott.
“When the officer puts his hands on her initially, she reaches up and she pops the officer with her fist,” he said.
Still, he stressed, his focus is on the behavior of the officer, Deputy Ben Fields, who has been suspended without pay since the Monday incident.
Lott said he expects to make a decision within the next 24 hours about the officer’s continued employment.
“There’s no justification for some of his actions,” the sheriff told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” late Tuesday.
Despite this, protests calling for Fields’ firing have been growing and intense debates have taken place on major networks. As noted in CNN’s report, the unnamed student was suspended after Fields’ rough handling of her and arrested on the charge of disturbing a school. A fellow student, Niya Kenney, was also given the same charge.
SOURCE: CNN| VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube
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