A South Carolina school resource officer under fire for body slamming a female student during a classroom altercation may have only been responding to the girl’s punches, a third video ostensibly shows.
The video hasn’t been released to the public but is being discussed and analyzed by law enforcement investigating the incident, including those at the federal level.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the first two videos that emerged of the scene – where senior deputy Ben Fields yanked the student from her chair and scuffled with her on the floor – seemed clear the officer used overly aggressive tactics. But at the same time, he said a third video has emerged that indicates the student was first punching the officer.
“If she had not disrupted that school, disrupted that class, we would not be standing here today,” Lott said, during a press conference broadcast by CNN.
He then referred to the third video showing the student swinging at the officer and said: “Does that justify the means? That’s what I have to look at.”
Police are investigating the incident that took place at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, in which the student was reportedly disrupting class with her cell phone. She reportedly refused to give the teacher her phone and the school resource officer was called to assist.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI announced they were opening an investigation into the case to see if the officer violated the girl’s civil rights.
WITN reported the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is also investigating the incident and will likely have a decision about Fields’ future in the coming hours. He’s already been suspended without pay.
Colin Flaherty’s book, “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry: The Hoax of Black Victimization and Those Who Enable It,” documents black crime in America and exposes how the media and politicians are willing partners in what the author calls “the greatest lie of our generation.”
Lott, meanwhile, denied racism was involved in the incident, saying Fields has been dating a black woman for “quite some time,” WITN reported. He also suggested the community should let the investigation continue unfettered.
“I wanted to throw up,” he said, of the first two videos of the incident that showed the extent of the officer’s struggle with the female student. “This makes you sick to your stomach when you see that initial video. But that’s just a snapshot.”