Thursday, October 29, 2015

(Full Story) violent south carolina classroom arrest: ‘I’ve never seen anything so nasty looking’

violent classroom arrest: 
‘I’ve never seen anything so nasty looking’

Tony Robinson Jr., the student who recorded the arrest in a South Carolina classroom in which a school officer flipped over a desk and dragged a teenage girl across the floor, said that he and the other students were terrified as they watched what happened.

Robinson said that an administrator had been called into the room after a girl was on her computer and took out her phone and refused to give her phone up to a teacher who asked for it.

“She really hadn’t done anything wrong,” Robinson said. “She said that she had took her phone out, but it was only for a quick second.” Although the girl did not comply with demands for the phone, she did apologize.

When the officer, Ben Fields, arrived in the class, Robinson knew something was wrong. Fields asked Robinson’s friend to move a desk, closed the girl’s computer, and then moved the computer to another desk.

“When I saw what was about to happen my immediate first thing to think is let me get this on camera. This is going to be something that not only I’m I going to be like ‘wow did this really happened at my class’ but just something that everybody else needs to see. This is something that we can’t let this just pass by,” Robinson said.

“He asked her again, ‘will you move, will you move.’  She said ‘no I have not done anything wrong.; Then he said I’m going to treat you fairly. And she said ‘I don’t even know who you are.. And that is where it started right there.”

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

South Carolina Officer that beat up Student: FIRED #BlackLivesMatter

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Authorities in South Carolina will announce on Wednesday that Richland County Senior Deputy Ben Fields, the officer shown on video throwing a student to the ground inside a classroom, will be fired, according to NBC News.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott will speak at a news conference at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday where he will announce Fields has been relieved of his duties.

Fields is the Spring Valley High School resource officer whose actions Monday were recorded by students and ignited a firestorm on social media. Among the criticisms: his admitted use of “muscling techniques” to get the student out of her chair.

But that’s only one part of the story. Federal investigators have gotten involved. Another student arrested from the classroom has spoken out. And the sheriff is criticizing a South Carolina law that he says muddles the role of school resource officers.

Sheriff: The student hit the officer

At least three videos have surfaced of the violent arrest at Spring Valley High School. The sheriff said one of the videos shows the girl attacking the officer before the arrest.

“When the officer puts his hands on her initially, she reaches up and she pops the officer with her fist,” he said.

Still, after watching all the footage, Lott told reporters that he “wanted to throw up.”

“There’s no justification for some of his actions,” the sheriff told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°” on Tuesday night.

The videos show the officer standing over the student, seated at her desk. He puts his arm near her neck, then yanks her backward. The desk, which is attached to her chair, tips over; the student crashes backward onto the floor.

But Fields didn’t let go, lifting her slightly off the ground. She flies out of her desk and slides several feet across the floor.

Conflicting reports on injuries

Sheriff’s department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson said there were no reports of any injuries. And the sheriff said he did not believe the girl was seriously hurt.

“To my knowledge, she wasn’t injured whatsoever,” Lott said. “She might have had a rug burn or something like that, but she was not injured.”

But Todd Rutherford, the student’s attorney, said his client now has to wear a cast on her arm.

The girl also suffered a bruise on her head, her attorney said.

Student: It started with a cell phone

The 16-year-old girl who was taken to the ground was arrested on a charge called “disturbing schools.” A classmate, Niya Kenny, 18, was also arrested on the same charge.

Kenny told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night the incident started when her math teacher told the other girl to give up her cell phone. The girl refused and defied orders from the teacher and an administrator to leave the classroom.

That’s when Fields was called in, Kenny said. The school resource officer asked the girl to leave the classroom with him.

Kenny said the offer moved the girl’s laptop off her desk.

“He grabbed her arm, and he put his arm around her neck at first. So that’s why you actually see her — if you get the right video — then you’ll see her trying to swing at him,” Kenny said.

“And at that point, he just flipped the desk back and grabbed her out of it and threw her. And that’s when you see her rolling across the floor.”

Kenny said she and other classmates had their cell phones recording because of the officer’s reputation.

“When he came in the classroom, I immediately told my classmates, ‘Get your phones out, get your phones out. I think this is going to go downhill.’ And it did.”

Her attorney, Simone Martin, said she’s been told “by a number of the students that he is referred to as Officer Slam as opposed to Officer Fields. And that’s telling.”

Kenny was arrested and accused of disturbing school after yelling and cursing at the officer, according to an incident report.

Civil rights investigation

The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office have opened a civil rights investigation to determine whether federal laws were violated during the student’s arrest, a Justice Department representative said.

The sheriff said the FBI is also to be the lead agency in a criminal investigation.

“We do not want any issues with the community or those involved having questions concerning conflicts of interest in this investigation,” he said.

Analyst: Officer within his rights

CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck cautioned against jumping to conclusions about Fields, even if the footage “looks really bad.”

If an officer decides to make an arrest, he or she “can use whatever force is necessary,” said Houck, a retired New York police detective.

“So if you don’t comply with my wishes,” he said, “then I can do whatever it takes to get you out of that seat and put handcuffs on you.”

Sheriff criticizes law on disrupting school

Houck said the officer shouldn’t have been called in to deal with the student in the first place.

“Too often, these teachers in these schools are calling on the cops because they have a disruptive student in the classroom,” he said. “This is not a cop’s job.”

But South Carolina has a law that muddles the role of school resource officers, the sheriff said.

“Unfortunately, our Legislature passed a law that’s called ‘disturbing schools,’ ” he said.

“If a student disturbs school — and that’s a wide range of activities, ‘disturbing schools’ — they can be arrested. Our goal has always been to see what we can do without arresting the kids. We don’t need to arrest these students. We need to keep them in schools.”