Teenage Girl Was Violently Taken Down in Columbia, South Carolina

Teenage Girl Was Violently Taken Down in Columbia, South Carolina

Mickeel Allen, Staff Reporter

In recent news, a South Carolina resource officer was fired after a video surged of him violently yanking a student from her desk and hurling her across the room. Although he was fired for excessive force, he still awaits his second trial, determining his future.

The teenage African American girl initially got caught texting on her phone in class by the teacher and refused to hand over her cellphone. After continuous disruptive conduct and refusal to leave the class, Officer Ben Fields was called. He first asked her to stand up, but she remained seated. He then grabbed her out her seat and tossed her, all the while yelling “put your hands behind your back”. The Richland County Sheriff, Leon Lott, called Field’s actions “unacceptable” and said the videos recorded by her classmates “show the girl posed no danger to anyone”. He goes on to add that, “what he should not have done is throw the student”. The girl’s attorneys have spoken on ABC’s Good Morning America telling the world that she is currently wearing a cast on her arm, along with rug burns and neck and back complications.

Sheriff Lott says that after directly firing the Deputy he spoke to him about the incident. He claims that Fields expressed remorse saying, “He’s sorry that this whole thing occurred, it was not his intention. He tried to do his job and that’s what he feels like he did. It happened very quickly and his actions was something that if he probably had to do over again he’d do it differently”.

Like any other being, officers make mistakes, but Fields must be held accountable for his transgression. Students from the scene are claiming that the root of the issue was racism and that the white Deputy targeted black students, however during his previous services, he maintained a clean record. Although there are disputes on whether race was the cause, Sheriff Lott argues that racism was not the motive.

Hashtags on twitter have been created to support the student who was maltreated. In addition, outrage has been expressed through social media stating that the girl did not deserve to be assaulted, even saying that her offense did not require an arrest. Specifically Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, comes out to speak, “This was a situation in which the school should have never called the police officer into the room. And the actions of that young lady, from we’ve seen in the video, did not rise to the level of an arrest”.

Currently the school officials are working with the Sheriff’s department to develop a better equatability between educators and officers. These types of confrontations must be abolished which means creating new ways of problem solving and communication. There are many who argue that there are harsh zero-tolerance discipline policies that are earning students a criminal record that could have otherwise been avoided. Whatever the cause, something must be done to address the issue within school resource officer programs.