Deputy Ben Fields, the school cop filmed dragging and throwing a disobedient teen, was fired today by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
Lott announced at midday EST that Fields has already been relieved of his duties and that the wheels are in motion to remove him officially from the force.
A civil rights investigation is already underway into the conduct of Fields, a white officer whose attack on a black child took place in the context of rising tensions in the South Carolina community in which he serves. As Spring Valley High School resource officer, he was often accused of roughing up the youngsters in his care.
But this was the first time he was caught doing it on camera.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said an internal investigation over the Monday incident at Spring Valley High School in Columbia focused on whether Senior Deputy Ben Fields had violated the department's policies.
He said at a news conference that the department looked at cellphone videos taken from the classroom and interviews with witnesses, and concluded that the maneuvers he used in the confrontation were "not acceptable."
"From the very beginning that's what's caused me to be upset, and continued to upset me is that he picked the student up and threw the student across the room," Lott said.
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