South Carolina student arrest; Ben Fields


Sheriff fires Richland deputy after altercation with Spring Valley student
By Avery G. Wilks
The State (South Carolina), 2015-10-28


[Richland County Sheriff Leon] Lott said
the student was on her cellphone and refused to participate in class.
He said she was asked by a teacher, and then by an administrator,
to leave the classroom but didn’t.
That’s when Fields was called and asked to remove her, Lott said.

Lott said Wednesday that
the teacher and the administrator said
they didn’t think the deputy used excessive force.

Still, Lott said, Fields did not follow protocol, making the decision to fire him clear.


The officer could have used other methods to remove the student, starting with trying to reason with her verbally, said Geoffrey Alpert, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina. If that doesn’t work, Alpert said, there are other techniques available that fall short of slinging the student on the ground.

"Officers are trained in pressure points and come-along holds, and they're basically using pressure points and twisting the arms,” Alpert said. “It's called pain compliance. If I give enough pain, you're going to do what I want you to do."

[I think that line of reasoning is part of the reason for low achievement test scores.
How much classroom time is being lost due to such disruptions?
the student had already refused to follow the instructions given by her teacher and a school administrator.
Since she disobeyed them,
why is there the slightest reason to believe that
the sheriff's deputy could get her to change her behavior by "reasoning with her verbally"?
Does this moronic clown of a professor really believe that
sheriff's deputies have more verbal skills than teachers and school administrators?
What a degenerate clown of a professor.
But that's what you can expect from
the human vermin that political correctness has put into
positions that should be occupied by people
who have some ability to reason on the basis of something other than political correctness.
And by the way,
if the officer had followed the nutty professor's next suggestion,
that he use "pressure points and come-along holds"
and that was videotaped and played by the media and on the Internet,
would the outcry have been any less?
Fat chance.

One can only pity the poor school teachers and administrators
who are getting hit from both sides now.
On the one hand,
when students do poorly on tests,
the PC vermin in our country blame the teachers and not the students,
talking about "failing schools",
as if it is the school that has failed, not the student.
On the other hand,
when they try to enforce some reasonable rules of discipline in the classroom,
apparently any student who wants to
can hijack the class, and the learning that should be going on,
as much as they want, for as long as they want,
and any attempt to use force to remove them
will be described as "excessive force".

And the cops called to deal with such problems.
How do you handle a black student who refuses to obey instructions from teachers and administrators?
Give them the drama they are, perhaps, seeking?
Is it not entirely possible that getting attention
was entirely the objective of this "young lady"?
Or deliberately provoking the authorities into an act
where she could play the victim?

Say, Richland Two Black Parents Association (referenced below),
exactly what was the motivation of your "young lady"
for refusing to obey the instructions she was given?
And just what should the officer have done in this situation?
Can you make constructive suggestions about
how to handle your children without causing undue disruption to the educational process,
or do you just like to complain?

Political correctness is true evil.]


“We’re going to talk to the school districts so they understand that when they call us, we’re going to take a law enforcement action,” Lott said. “... Should (the deputy) ever have been called there? ... We’re going to look at that.”

Richland 2 Superintendent Debbie Hamm on Wednesday praised Lott’s decision in a press release.

“We know important work is ahead of us as we thoughtfully and carefully review the decision-making process that may lead to a school resource officer taking the lead in handling a student disruption,” Hamm said. “Conversations that have already started will continue around how we work with the sheriff’s department on improvement and coordination of our work as educators and their work as law enforcement officers.

“Our primary goal is to de-escalate situations through problem-solving and communication techniques, while avoiding actions that escalate and result in unfortunate confrontations. We will continue to move forward with this approach.”

A point is:
Exactly what did the school district expect the sheriff's deputy to do?
Conduct a Socratic dialogue with the student?
Isn't that the school district's job, not the sheriff's department?]

The Richland Two Black Parents Association was also quick to praise Lott’s decision.

“The Richland Two Black Parents Association applauds Sherriff Lott for the release of Deputy Fields from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department,” the group said in a release. “Clearly the video that surfaced depicts the actions of this officer and has revealed a history of these types of activities by him in the past. There was ample evidence that justice should be served. As we have stated, parents continue to be heartbroken.
We must continue to support this young lady
and shift the focus to the policies and practices of this School District which continues to be of issue.”

[I wonder how much better off both blacks and America would be
if such black organizations spent as much time and effort
trying to get their children to be disciplined and attentive in class
as they do in berating whites who try to enforce the disciple necessary for academic success,
of both the student in question and his or her classmates who also are impacted by turmoil.]

Richland Co. Sheriff Leon Lott’s statement on firing of deputy Ben Fields
Sheriff Leon Lott
The State (South Carolina), 2015-10-28

Richland County, SC

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott’s prepared statement during a news conference Wednesday to announce he has fired Deputy Ben Fields for his actions during the classroom arrest of a Spring Valley High School student Monday:


Statements from the teacher and school administrator revealed that
the student was disrupting the class and refused their instructions to leave class.
SRO Fields was called and asked by the administrator to remove the student.
The SRO attempted verbal commands and the student failed to follow the Deputy's instructions;
at that time the deputy used physical force.
Both the teacher and school administrator voiced support for the SRO and his actions.

The third video shows the student striking Deputy Fields in the face with her fist
when his hand makes the initial contact with her arm.
At that point the arrest escalates to Deputy Fields using force to arrest her.
In my opinion Deputy Fields could have accomplished the arrest or handled the situation without some of the actions he did.
[Yeah, right, Sheriff, Deputy Fields didn't do the right thing.
But just what WAS the right thing?
Let us recall that the entire class was on hold while this action was transpiring.
For how long should a disruptive student be allowed to interfere with the instruction?
What should Deputy Fields have done?
How about some constructive comments,
not just "Fields was wrong."
What was the alternative?]

The one that concerns me the most was the throwing of the student across the floor.
I do not feel that was proper and follows our policy and procedures.
[Okay, again, what did your procedures call for?
It seems to me, given the abuse being heaped on former Deputy Fields,
that your department's "better alternative" should be stated,
so the public can judge whether maybe, given the specific circumstances he was in,
maybe his judgment wasn't so terrible.
Let me note too that the student, if she was so inclined,
could resist almost anything done to her.
The student had declined to follow instructions from three people:
her teacher, a school administrator, and the school resource officer.
It was clearly time to get the student out of the classroom,
so instruction could continue.]

Our training unit verified that the maneuver was not based on training or acceptable.
Based on his actions, Deputy Fields has been terminated as a Deputy Sheriff with the Richland County Sheriff's Department.


RAW: Sheriff Lott announces firing of Spring Valley SRO Ben Fields
WISTV, 2015-10-28

[This web page, as of 2015-10-29, contained a video of Sheriff Lott's 2015-10-28 press conference
in which he summarized the events and announced that Deputy Ben Fields had been terminated.
The summary of events begins at about the 4:50 point of the video.
My transcription of some of what Sheriff Lott said, starting about 4:55, to about 6:50, follows.
The emphasis has been added by me.]

We took statements from the teacher and the administrator that was present.
This incident started with a very disruptive student in the class.
This student was not allowing the teacher to teach, nor the students to learn.
She was very disruptive, she was very disrespectful, and she started this whole incident with her actions.
She refused to leave the class as directed by the teacher.
She refused to follow his instructions.
He called for assistance from the school administrator;
the school administrator got there (who was African-American)
and he attempted to get her to leave the class also.
She refused his instructions and continued disrespect with him.
All this while the students were still in the class, where they were supposed to be doing learning.
Their education had to be put on hold while this disruptive student had to be dealt with.
At that point School Resources Officer Ben Fields was called.
The situation was explained to him.
He attempted to get the student to leave.
He was then asked to remove her from the class.
At that point I think we've seen the various videos.
I will note that the teacher and the school administrator in their statements
both fully support the actions of Ben Fields.
They said that he acted appropriately,
that he didn't use excessive force,
that he did what was necessary.

That came from both of them that were present when this happened.
The third video from another student also supports Officer Fields --
it actually shows the female student striking Ben Fields
and her resisting when he tried to get her from her chair.

[At about the 16:20 point a reporter asks the Sheriff the question I asked above:
"Can you tell us what the Deputy SHOULD have done".
The SOB answered: "I can tell you what he should NOT have done".
Look, that's the easy part.
How about what he should have done,
to both be fair to the disruptive student
and to the students whose education she was disrupting
(if, that is, any of them actually care about getting an education).
Sheriff Lott said that when making an arrest,
you must maintain control over the person you are arresting,
by maintaining physical contact.
Yeah, but in this case Fields needed to extract the student from the desk in which she was sitting.
The student could easily grasp the desk, making it difficult to extract her.
Maybe Fields made a reasonable exception to the general rule.
This sure sounds to me like a totally inadequate justification for firing him.
Further training, maybe. Disciplinary action, possibly.
But firing? Way, way overkill on merely that ground.
The question remains, at least in my mind:
What alternative did Fields have for removing a student from a desk who is resisting removal?
Consider, for example, that it took six Fairfax County deputies to try to put Natasha McKenna in a restraining chair,
and even then they felt the had to Taser her to get her to stop resisting,
with fatal results.

Did Fields try to pull the student out of the chair before overturning it?
I'm not sure, based on those videos.
Maybe others can tell better than I.]

What if the South Carolina student thrown across a classroom had been white?
By Editorial Board
Washington Post Editorial, 2015-10-28


“Deputy [Ben] Fields did not follow proper training, did not follow proper procedure, when he threw the student across the room,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a news conference Wednesday. At the same time, though, the sheriff noted that when police are summoned by schools, there will be a law enforcement response.

That highlights the all-too-prevalent problem
of schools escalating routine disciplinary infractions into criminal offenses,
particularly when racial or ethnic minorities are involved.
[Wait a minute.
Who escalated the situation?
She refused to hand over her cell phone when asked.
Does not a teacher have the right to make that request?
Who refused to leave the room when asked?
Does not the assistant principle have the right to make that request?
The sheriff's deputy, in asking her to leave the classroom,
was only doing as the teacher and assistant principle had requested him to act.
Do they not have the right, and indeed the duty,
to remove students they judge to be obstructing the instructional process?
And do they not have the right to define cell phones going off in a classroom
as being an unacceptable distraction to the needed concentration of the students?
Don't they have the right to keep such distractions out of the classroom?]

It is an issue that Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke eloquently about in September, when he detailed how schools that criminalize nonviolent student behavior only feed the school-to-prison pipeline.

Just as Deputy Fields has had to answer for his actions, the teacher and administrator who summoned him to the classroom and stood by as the girl was flipped backward over her desk, dragged and then handcuffed should be held accountable. So, too, must the school district, which has been the subject of long-running complaints from black parents about bias in school discipline. Appropriately, it now will be the focus of federal inquiries as a result of Monday’s incident.

There is no question the young girl involved in the incident was wrong in allegedly refusing the teacher’s request to stop using her phone, and in not leaving the classroom when asked. But there are methods short of slapping on handcuffs available to schools for dealing with disrespectful children.
[The issue is more than "disrespectful".
The issue is that her cellphone had the capability of interfering with the instructional process.
With so much pressure being placed on teachers and schools to improve minority learning and test results,
should they not be allowed to enforce (yes, enforce) common sense rules
for maintaining a learning environment that will enable academic success?]

Not only does this girl now face criminal charges that could dog her for the rest of her life, but a classmate who recorded the incident on her cellphone was arrested as well.

The principal’s office — not a police station — is where both should have ended up, and it is hard not to suspect that that would have been the outcome had the offending students been white. That underscores the need for school officials everywhere to take a hard look at their disciplinary systems for bias and put in place practices that make schools safe, and also inclusive, for all students.

Spring Valley administrator on paid leave after SRO incident
by Sarah Ellis
The State (SC), 2015-10-31


A Spring Valley High School administrator is on paid leave, Richland 2 officials said Saturday, as an investigation is ongoing into an incident involving a school resource officer’s use of force on a student in an incident caught on camera last week.

The student involved in the Monday incident and another female student who filmed it with her cellphone were both arrested and charged with disturbing schools.

Richland 2 spokeswoman Libby Roof said Saturday the students have not been suspended or expelled and have been allowed to return to school.

Roof also said a substitute teacher is currently teaching the math class where, on Monday, Fields was filmed forcefully pulling a female student from her desk and tossing her to the floor after being called in response to a discipline issue. The regular teacher, who was present for the incident, is not on leave, Roof said, without elaborating.

Roof said it is “consistent with the district’s standard procedure when investigations are being conducted” that the administrator is on paid leave.

Neither the administrator nor the teacher who were present in the classroom when Richland County Sheriff’s deputy Ben Fields was called in have been identified by district officials.

Crangle: Sheriff’s deputies need due-process rights
by John V. Crangle, guest columnist
The State (SC), 2015-11-09

A Plague of Unruly Children
By Michael A. Thiac
American Thinker, 2015-11-12

On Halloween in National Review, the estimable David French opined that the Spring Valley High School video of a deputy dragging a child out of a chair wasn’t “disturbing,” I beg to differ; it’s very disturbing, but not for the reasons he listed.

As Mr. French noted, the “child” was told by the teacher to leave the class, then by an administrator, and finally by Deputy Ben Fields. She refused each time. The initial video showed only a teenager being pulled back and forth and assaulted by a man twice her size. Based on this limited knowledge, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott terminated Deputy Fields less than 48 hours later.

It is disturbing that a senior law enforcement executive fired a man when the situation was not fully known at the time. However, what I saw in the video is greatly disturbing but a multiple levels. To borrow the phrase from our president’s favorite pastor, “America’s chickens…have some home…to roost!”

We have generations of children now who were born but not raised. I don’t know the particular circumstance of this student’s family, but in far too many black families (and a growing number of white and Hispanic families) the norm is a single mother. The stats are three out of four black children are born out of wedlock. While there is no question this is the worse situation for the child and the “parental unit,” it’s been encouraged since the “Great Society,” an oxymoron almost as bad as “rap artist.” The federal government told one generation after another, “Young ladies, have kids, Uncle Sam has become Uncle Sugar, we’ll pay for the kid. We’ll send you money, a rent voucher and food stamps. Young men, have as many kids as you want, don’t worry about supporting them, we’ll ‘raise’ them and you don’t have to worry about getting a job. We got disability for that, you can chill….” Professor Thomas Sowell said it best, “The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals' expansion of the welfare state.”

We’ve given birth to generations (and imported others) of people who were not raised to be respectful and functional citizens of this nation. In ages past, the parents knew the primary duty to raise their children was theirs, but this was also reinforced by other adults outside the house. Part of the raising was the respect given to teachers and other school officials, police, and adults in general. A child raised properly would have never had a phone out in class or at least would have put it away immediately after the teacher told her to do so. As writer and talk show host Mark Levin said, the civil society was reinforced by the parents; children would learn the world does not revolve around themselves and they must show their elders respect.

That notion now seems rather quaint, and the losers are society in general and the children in particular. They don’t know the discipline that they need to make their way in the world, delay gratification, and that they must prepare to support themselves. I’ve been in law enforcement for almost two decades, mostly on patrol and often in “Da Hood”. I’ve seen the disaster these types of policies have brought upon society. In one family after another, the child is not disciplined or told “No,” accustomed to delayed gratification and or told there are things more important to himself. In years past in a similar Spring Valley situation, the parent would be called and actually be embarrassed by the way her child acts. Now as we see with later videos the 16 year old refused to leave and struck the deputy, the family is still proceeding with a lawsuit. Money and 15 minutes of fame are very enticing things and they don’t care the child is the worse for it.

On patrol I’ve had calls where a mother is reporting to the police, “My children won’t do their homework.…” I must explain to this “adult” that it’s not the job of law enforcement to raise her child, and where is the father to assist you? But this is a symptom of a bigger issue. The mother was not raised to by two parents with discipline, guidance and love to steer her to a better life, particularly out of the ghettos of the major cities. In many public housing projects you have generations of the same family living in a subsidized unit, and they’ve never known anything but this hellhole; and they are quite content to live there. Sad, pathetic and not surprising.

In one particular incident I remember a mother (36 years old) and her daughter (16 years old) in a fight that required medical attention for the daughter. The issue started over the mother telling the daughter she could not go out and the daughter refusing. I thought to myself: “Lady the problem is not that you’re trying to discipline your child at sixteen. The problem is you didn’t discipline her at six.”

Another part of “Da Hood” is what is idolized, what is reinforced, what is shown as your way to a better life. Education and vocational training? No, often black students working hard are told they are “acting white.” Discipline in getting up, going to a job, putting in a full day’s work for a day’s pay, saving for your future? No. Successful businessmen and women who achieve in small industries, such as the store manager, mechanic shop owner? Or minorities that made it out of poverty and achieved greatness like Dr. Ben Carson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? Not much. Who are revered in today’s ghettos? Sports stars, “rap artists,” people who are famous for “being famous,” or people who made it onto “America’s Got Talent.”

America took generations to get into this fix and it will take decades to get out of it. The first step for any recovery is to admit you have a problem. We have to convince young ladies to not start families before they get a diploma, to graduate, to have children only with their husbands. And we have to insist these young men honor the mother’s of the children, more than their “baby mama.” Both will require time, reinforcement and the reintroduction of a sense of shame for certain actions. The future is to be determined but this a critical matter that must be worked on.

Officer Fields incident reminds us of our national failures
by Nick Gregory
The Flint Journal Guest Column, 2015-11-16


Our charge as a nation is to provide a quality education to every child,
even those who text during class or don't follow directions.

[Yeah, that would be nice.
But is it possible?
When it comes to math, I really doubt how possible it is.
I've taken a lot of math courses in my time
(math major in college, among other things),
and in my experience, if your mind wanders during math class,
you may very well miss an important point that is being made,
a definition of an important concept,
an example that will help you understand the meaning of a notation,
a crucial logical step,
for example.
Once you miss a key step,
it's very hard, if not impossible, to catch up.
When it comes to math, paying attention and following the progress of the theory is crucial.

The humanities are different.
Take English.
Your understanding of one novel is not crucially dependent on your understanding of another novel.
Chains of dependency don't exist to the extent they do in math,
and in other scientific disciplines
(I think; I'm certainly not an expert on the humanities).

I think it is asking for the impossible to expect teachers to give "a good education"
to students who lack the discipline required of them.
We can't drop our expectations on students just because they're black.]


Nick Gregory is a Michigan Education Voice Fellow
and has been a social studies and journalism teacher at Fenton High School since 2000.

[It figures.
What do social studies and journalism teachers know about teaching math?
In a history course, if you forget the details of, say, the War of 1812,
it doesn't hurt your ability to learn about the Civil War.
But in math
if you don't know, for example, the Pythagorean Theorem,
you're never going to understand many mathematical concepts and proofs.
That's just one example of the dependencies.
There are many others.

Here's a more advanced example, from the theory of functions from the real numbers to the real numbers.
Say you want to prove that any continuous function defined on a closed, bounded interval
assumes every value between its maximum and minimum.
You'd better know the definition of supremum (least upper bound) and its properties,
or its dual concept, the infimum (greatest lower bound).]

Investigation of police officer violence in school
By Rebekah McLean
Omnibus Online, 2015-11-18

[A nice summary of the situation to date.]


Because of America’s reaction to this violent classroom arrest, the FBI has a big task handling the matter.
They continue to investigate with no further information for the public.

I Was Officer Ben Fields' Basketball Coach.
How Do I Reconcile My Friend With His Actions?

By Luke Hartman [with] Sheri Bailey
Sojourners, 2015-12-02


I [Dr. Luke Hartman] am a passionate advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a university administrator, I wore a Trayvon Martin hoodie to work the day after his death. I am one who is appalled by the more visible recent list of what has appeared to be unwarranted deaths of blacks at the hands of American law enforcement. I am one who constantly is experiencing an inner metacognitive rage. I am an angry black man in America.

But this police officer, this white aggressor, was my friend.

I had coached Ben on the basketball team for two years in Kansas. When he graduated and moved to Columbia, S.C., he had reported his excitement in his new role as a school resource officer. He played with my children when they were young. My family stopped in to visit him in Columbia on vacation.

Ben — the 18-year-old with the biggest of hearts, who cared deeply about people, who often worked alongside his family leading an inner city homeless mission — was now, immediately, nationally judged as a bigoted, violent, white police officer, his name added to the long and growing list of racist public servants.


A black former player named Arnold McCrary, who played with Ben, reached out with the following message that I felt captured the juxtaposition of the predicament in which I found myself. McCrary wrote:


I wish I knew more about what he was thinking but with him being investigated I’m sure there is little he can say. Last time you and I spoke I was telling you about how Ben was supportive of me when I got into that fight in the dorm and the police came. We became a lot closer after that and he told me about the birth mark on his face. He said he didn’t know what it felt like to be black but he knew what it was like to have people look at you and treat you a certain way because of how he looked. The dude had tears in his eyes, I’ll never forget. That’s when I realized how passionate he was. I always kept that to myself.

Man, I’m not sure how he saw the situation that day but I know he is nowhere near as bad as what I’ve read and heard in the media. I talked to a couple of the guys and they feel the same. I haven’t responded to anything because I don’t know how to explain who he is to people without undermining the feelings of the girl and others who find themselves at odds with law enforcement. It’s like you have to choose a side.


[That concludes my excerpts from Dr. Hartman's article.
There is a comment to that article that I would like to reproduce in full:]

[By] HumanistFury • [2015-12-02]

You personally knew the officer and regarded him as a decent, compassionate human being. Many others did also, including those students at the school who came to his support. Didn't your previous knowledge of his character and patterns of behavior at least make you somewhat more skeptical towards the instant condemnation? Even if you (understandably) believe that "regardless of the student's response... it did not warrant the physical assault she received," you're still applying an irresponsibly low standard of evidence if you're not even willing to hear what that "response" was.

It's entirely possible that the police officer was in the wrong. However, that's a question best left to an objective police disciplinary process or, if necessary, criminal prosecution. What's the likelihood that a county sheriff - an elected official - is going to stake his own career on the chance that an impartial investigation that could yield a conclusion unpleasing to BLM? I wouldn't take those odds.

Social-media fueled histrionics did very little - at best - to bring about a just resolution to the incident. For much of the country, the public perception is - and not without basis - that this policeman was fired to appease BLM dilettantes who have built careers on manufactured outrage. If you actually believe that this incident was worth ending an otherwise-uneventful career over, and forfeiting the thousands of taxpayer dollars invested in his training, that's a valid argument, but MAKE THAT CASE. Making an absolute judgement over 15 seconds of video is irresponsible and resembles the worst caricature of leftist identity politics.

I feel we often assign a false moral premium to be among the first to condemn the perceived aggressor in an incident. We don't become better people by being the first to affirm the label of "racist," "terrorist," "thug," or any other politically-loaded term. Condemn injustice and bring it out of the shadows into the public eye,


12 page letter from South Carolina Solicitor's Office concerning the incident
written by Dan Johnson, Solicitor, Fifth Judicial Circuit (South Carolina)

The letter, surprisingly, contains some typos.

Note that two witnesses quoted in that letter said (some variant of)
"the incident looked worse on the video than it actually was."


Former school officer will not be charged, sues sheriff, school district
By Cynthia Roldán
The State, 2017-01-13


Federal authorities announced Friday they don’t have enough evidence to charge
a former Spring Valley High School resource officer with criminal civil rights violations.


“After a careful and thorough investigation,
the team of experienced federal prosecutors and FBI agents determined that
the evidence was insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt,
that Fields willfully deprived the Spring Valley High School student of a constitutional right,”
said a release by the justice department.

The release went on to say that mistakes, misperceptions, negligence or poor judgment
are not enough to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation.


Fields filed a defamation and negligence lawsuit on Tuesday
against the Richland County Sheriff’s Department,
also naming Lott and Richland School District 2 as defendants.

In the suit, Fields alleges
an internal affairs investigator had distributed an internal memorandum
that said Fields’ response to the incident was within department policy.
Despite that information, Lott said he had “no choice” and fired Fields,
the lawsuit said.

Fields said he’s suffered a “severe reputational loss,”
and can’t work in law enforcement until he returns to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for training.

He also accused Lott and the sheriff’s department
of depriving him of his rights.
He said was treated differently because of his race.

“The unlawful conduct particularly implicated herein includes, but is not limited to:
intentionally disadvantaging white employees in matters involving black individuals
and disparate treatment to white employees with regard to the terms and conditions of their employment,
and unequal treatment with regards to decisions to hire and fire,”
the suit said.


The Richland Two Black Parents Association, however, was critical of the justice department’s announcement, saying it does not seek additional remedies to address what happened.

“The Richland Two Black Parents Association has long stated that it was the actions and policies of the school district which allowed the officer to be in the classroom in the beginning,” the statement read.
“It was and still is our position that school resource officers should not be used as the school's first line of discipline for our students.”

[The fact of the matter is that SRO Fields was only called after
the black female student had defied direct orders from 1) her teacher and 2) a school administrator.
In fact, the teacher, Robert Long, wrote a "discipline referral" on the student
BEFORE the administrator and SRO Fields were called.
It really seems a stretch to call SRO Fields "the school's first line of discipline".]

Attorney: Fired Richland Co. SRO was hung out to dry
by Chad Mills
Live5News, 2017-01-19

Ex-Spring Valley SRO Ben Fields reflects on the day that changed his life forever
by Chad Mills
WMBF, 2017-02-06

[Same (I think) article is at wistv.com.]

Oct. 26, 2015, is a day Ben Fields will never forget.
In fact, there's not a day that goes by where he doesn't think about it.

"That day changed my life probably forever," Fields said.

It's been more than 15 months since the former Richland County deputy was fired
after using force to remove an unruly student from class at Spring Valley High School.

On that day, Fields' attorney promised that
the deputy would one day address the particulars of the viral, caught-on-camera arrest.
That day has finally come after state and federal investigators cleared Fields of any wrongdoing.

The Incident

The morning of Oct. 26, 2015, Fields, a school resource officer with the Richland County Sheriff's Department,
was called to a 3rd period algebra class at Spring Valley High School to deal with a disruptive student.
Records say the student told her teacher to "get out of her face"
when he tried to take her phone and make her do schoolwork.

Fields said the student had been asked several times to put the phone away,
but the student would continue to take it back out.
At that point, Fields said, an administrator was called
and told the teacher to place the student in in-school suspension.
However, Fields said, the student refused to leave class.

"That teacher then called the administrator to say,
'Hey, this student is not compliant.
She's not leaving the classroom like I told her to.
Can you come remove her?'
At that point in time, the administrator went to the classroom, asked her more than one time to come with him and leave, and she refused.
He told her, 'If you don't come with me, I'm going to have to call a deputy to have you removed.'
And her response was, 'Do what you need to do.'"

"When I walked into the classroom, at that point in time and laid eyes on her, I knew exactly who she was," Fields said.
"So, I asked her nicely. I said, 'Why don't you come with me, and we can work this out?'
And her response was, 'I didn't do anything.'
And I responded saying, 'I'm not saying you did, but why don't you come out of the classroom with me, and we can talk about this. You know me. You know I'm a fair guy.'
The reason I said that is because I had investigated a fight that she had been in before in a previous year with another student, and I treated her very fairly.
I didn't charge her in the case because I thought it was a situation where she was being bullied and picked on, so she did know me.
She goes, 'I don't know you.'
She was clearly disturbing school at that point in time – disturbing the classroom and the other 20 kids or so that were in the class, and she needed to be removed."


"The incident looked worse in the video than it did in the classroom," one student said.

The arrested students' guardian also gave a statement.

"According to guardian, after viewing the video of Fields' altercation with the student,
the guardian believes that Fields did not do anything that was inappropriate," the letter said.