Video shows deputy body-slamming high school student in S.C. cla - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Video shows deputy body-slamming high school student in S.C. classroom

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Student-shot cell phone video shows the deputy forcibly removing the student Student-shot cell phone video shows the deputy forcibly removing the student
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

The FBI is being asked to investigate an incident at a South Carolina high school in which video shows a deputy slamming a female student to the ground and then dragging her across a classroom. 

The incident happened on Monday and soon after student-shot cell phone video began flooding social media, sparking an outcry. 

In a news conference, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff's Department, Curtis Wilson, identified the deputy in the video as Ben Fields, one of two school resource officers assigned to Spring Valley. Fields had been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation, Wilson said, adding that the officer was declining interview requests.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott did not attend the press conference because he was out of town, but Wilson said he had seen it and was "disturbed." Lott has filed a formal request for the FBI to investigate. 

Deputy Fields is named as a defendant in a 2013 federal lawsuit that claims he "unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity." 

The plaintiff in that suit was expelled from the high school after Fields said he was a gang member who had taken part in a "huge gang fight." 

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina called the deputy's actions in Monday's video "egregious." 

"There is no justification whatsoever for treating a child like this," the ACLU said in a statement.

The student in the video was being disruptive according to other students and was asked by the teacher to got to a discipline office. Deputy Fields then entered the classroom and asked if she was going to go on her own or if he had to make her, according to a student. When the student refused to leave, the deputy was "requested to take action," according to the Sheriff's Office. 

The student was told she was under arrest, but again refused to leave the classroom. 

In a statement, school district superintendent Debbie Hamm said "the District will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students." Hamm said the district is working closely with the Sheriff's Office to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.

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