The full video of the Spring Valley High School Police Officer brutally assaulting a peaceful student. pic.twitter.com/oHIS8GrtSS— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 26, 2015
In the video above, which has now gone viral, a South Carolina school officer can be seen grabbing a high school student from her chair, body slamming her and dragging her across the classroom, all while her classmates sit like statues watching the scene unfold.
The blurry footage starts with the officer approaching the student who was sitting silently at her desk with her arms folded. Within seconds —seemingly without any provocation — the cop flips her over, toppling the desk.
Here’s the incident shot from another angle:
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In an official statement, Libby Roof, a communications officer for Richland School District Two, told WISTV that officials are "deeply concerned" about the incident.
"Student safety is and always will be the district’s top priority," Roof said in a statement. "The district will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the district has directed that the school resource officer not return to any school in the district."
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott stated the cop acted after the student refused to leave class. The officer was called into the classroom after the student failed to turn over her cell phone after she was caught using it.
"The student was told she was under arrest for disturbing school and given instructions which she again refused," Lott told WISTV. "The video then shows the student resisting and being arrested."
However, online users protesting against the arrest, using the hashtag #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh, think there could have been an alternate, a less violent way of dealing with the situation.
In high school, every time I broke school policy, they'd call my parents. Not cops. #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh— AJ (@AJ_Laya) October 27, 2015
Used to be if you misbehaved, principal called parents, you got demerits, now they call police, you get assaulted #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh— Media On Media (@Media_On_Media) October 27, 2015
Clear out the classroom. Call for back up. Do NOT throw a teen girl across a room. Period!!!!!!!!!!!!! #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh— Holland Reid (@HollandReid) October 27, 2015
For ppl saying, " we need to see what happened before", can you please explain what would justify that #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh on a kid?— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) October 27, 2015
Others believe the cop would have acted differently had the student not been black:
As long as America sees all black people as a future criminals we will continue to have more events like #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh & worse.— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) October 27, 2015
Dylann Roof didn't get body slammed by the police, he got taken to Burger King. #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) October 27, 2015
The officer has been identified as Deputy Ben Fields, who has now been placed on administrative leave and banned from all schools in the district.
Lott has requested the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice investigate the incident.
The student who filmed the outrageous incident, Niya Kenny, was arrested and held on $1,000 bail. The 18-year-old was charged with "disturbing school," but her mother contends that accusation.
“Who was really disturbing the school?” Doris Kenny asked. “Was it my daughter or the officer who came in to the classroom and did that to the young girl?”