2015 Year in Review #6: Spring Valley High Incident

2015 Year in Review #6: Spring Valley High Incident

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Cell phone video released from inside a Spring Valley High classroom cost a School Resource Officer his job and ended in two students being charged.

Richland County deputy and school resource officer Ben Fields was doing what he enjoyed, protecting Spring Valley High as its SRO.

One day in late October, he was called into a classroom after a student refused to leave after a teacher and assistant principal asked her to. When the teenager didn't listen to Fields, cell phone video shows he knocked her desk down with her sitting in the chair, pulled her out of the chair and threw her across the floor before putting her under arrest.

"He was wrong in some of his actions. It's not what I expect of my deputies. It's not what I tolerate from any of my deputies especially those around a school where we're dealing with juveniles," Sheriff Leon Lott said.

Sheriff Leon Lott fired Fields from the Richland County Sheriff's Department. Fields was also permanently banned from Richland Two district property.

Lott explained Fields was allowed to put his hands on the student to arrest her, but he violated policy when he threw her across the room.

"I've built my reputation on standing up for our deputies when they are right, and also standing up here and saying and admitting when our deputies do wrong," Sheriff Lott said.

Lott also says the student bore some responsibility by refusing to do as she was told by school officials. She was charged with disturbing school, but was turned over to her parents since she is a juvenile.

An 18-year-old female student, who shouted profanities at Fields during the incident, was arrested and also charged with disturbing school. She was booked at the county detention center.

Meanwhile, some students protested to bring Fields back.

Ben Fields has declined to comment on camera at this time since the matter is still under investigation by federal authorities. His attorney released a statement saying Fields welcomes the opportunity to address the matter at the appropriate time.

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