Remember South Carolina deputy who slammed student? No charges.

Video of a South Carolina school resource officer pulling a student out of her desk in October of 2015 went viral and led to debate over the role of police in U.S. schools.

Many people were likely surprised to learn the South Carolina deputy caught on cellphone video slamming a student to the ground last year will not face charges, in part because the students and educators at Spring Valley High School who witnessed the incident firsthand apparently saw something different from outraged viewers.

Some of that outrage was fed by a student’s comment that Deputy Ben Fields had a reputation at the Columbia high school as “Officer Slam.” The student admitted making up that story. In fact, students at the high school walked out in protest after Fields was fired two days after the incident.

In announcing his decision not to move forward, 5th Circuit solicitor Dan Johnson told the Columbia, S.C., State newspaper that any prosecution was compromised by Fields’ quick firing.

This is from the State. (You can read the full account here.)

Students and educators who watched a Richland County deputy manhandle and arrest a disruptive Spring Valley High School student last fall tended to side with the officer, though some say he could have handled the tense situation better. That’s the portrayal from 14 eyewitnesses and the student’s guardian that emerges from an 11-page investigative summary released Friday of the case that, because of students’ videos, shook the Midlands and focused national attention on the role of school resource officers.

Neither fired white deputy Ben Fields nor the two African-American students charged with disrupting school will be prosecuted, 5th Circuit solicitor Dan Johnson announced after reviewing FBI and State Law Enforcement Division investigations. Johnson said there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed with charges.

 On Oct. 26, Fields was called into the algebra class where a student refused to put away her mobile phone or leave the classroom when instructed to repeatedly by the teacher and a school administrator. She told one school official, “Get out of my face.” Johnson’s report includes witnesses saying she hit Fields and locked her foot around the leg of her desk to avoid being pulled from it.An observer identified in the report as “Witness Six” told investigators that to not have removed the student would have sent a message that “it was OK to disobey teachers and authority. “(S)he wanted to prove that she was bad,” the witness said.

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12 comments
Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Just as we suspected months ago when this story first went viral.  The so called "news media" is engaging in a politically correct propaganda war against law enforcement in this country.  The "witness" who claimed the officer was known as "Officer Slam" has now been discredited.   Sound familiar?  Remember "hands up, don't shoot"?  The officer was fired because weak willed politicians and educrats didn't want a bunch of "black lives matter" idiots protesting in front of the school.

Personally, I hope the officer sues the school system and gets enough money to retire to a beach somewhere.

Perhaps leaders of the black community should focus on getting a message of self responsibility instead of blaming "Whitey" for all the dysfunction of the black community.  Teach your kids that the police are the enemy and do not have to be obeyed is a recipe for disaster.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

My suggestion at the time was that the officer should not have forced her out of her desk with such force, but that he should have slid the desk with her in it out into the hallway, outside of the room, closed the classroom door so that the teacher could have retained control of her classroom, and simply left the rebellious student in her desk alone in the hallway. Then, he should have walked away leaving that situation in the hands of the principal to make the next call - probably suspension from school for a few days.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@MaryElizabethSings She had already defied an administrator at the scene.  The officer was removing her from the scene of the disturbance.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Wascatlady @MaryElizabethSings


I realize that the officer was removing her from the scene of the disturbance and that the student had already defied an administrator at the scene.


What I suggested was a different approach to HOW the officer could have removed her that would not have been so violent.  The officer was fortunate that that kind severe force did not result in a life-altering body injury to that student. 


In my suggestion, he could still have removed her from the others in the classroom by simply sliding the desk (and her in it) outside of the room and the teacher could have regained control and continued with her lesson.  The student would be in the hallway outside of her room.  If, then, the student had gotten out of her desk to leave the general area or to reenter the classroom (hopefully the teacher would have locked her door, though), she could have been removed bodily without the obstruction of a desk between the officer and the student.  The authority of the principal's ruling, probably suspension, would have stood firm, as with any other student who is suspended from school for a certain amount of time.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings

Sorry, but when a law enforcement officer give you a direct, lawful order, you are required to comply.  There is no "negotiating".  YouTube is full of videos of police officers instructing a driver to "step out of the car" and when they refuse to comply, they are removed by force.

Maybe schools should do a few classes in Civics on how to respond appropriately to law enforcement officers.

Maybe the teacher should have been more understanding of why this student was having such a bad day....  {{heavy sarcasm}}

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Lee_CPA2 @MaryElizabethSings


Unless one is totally obsessed with power, then I believe that my suggestion was the most rational and most effective suggestion presented.  I have worked in schools for 35 years.  My way would have maintained control for the teacher, asserted that the teacher and/or principal has the ultimate power, and not brutalized the sensibilities of the offending student nor the students observing how authority is used.


Perhaps, police should begin questioning their own practices to insure that humanity is balanced with the need for control.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Most of us were sure there was more going on than was seen.  I am sore she got her props from thosshe wanted to.  How soon from props to perp?

Astropig
Astropig

The officer could have handled it better for sure.It escalated out of control and he paid with his job.But... I'm sure that I'm not the only one wondering why she didn't obey his request to leave? She could have complied and said whatever she had to say to whatever disciplinary tribunal that had jurisdiction.


If she gets in the habit of defying the police outside of a classroom, I predict that her life will be made complicated,painful...and short.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

She's a kid. I'm sure there were a lot of dumb things you did as a kid..which all kids do.

Astropig
Astropig

@BuckeyeGa 


I sure did.Boy,did I ever.We all have. But one dumb thing I never did was disobey an officer of the law.I never got my 'ol punkin head cracked open from Johnny Cop,either.