Officer fired following investigation into violent arrest of U.S. high school student

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Richland County Sheriff’s Department Officer Senior Deputy Ben Fields has been fired following an internal investigation into the violent arrest of a Columbia, South Carolina high school student, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said on Wednesday.

The incident at a local high school was captured on video and circulated on social media sites across the nation. Lott, speaking at a news conference, said physical force should have been the last resort and that Fields has had complaints in the past, but none were from the school district.

“What she did doesn’t justify what our deputy did,” Lott said. “I don’t want anybody to think that. We don’t need to create unnecessary conflicts. I hope we continue to build the bridges we have between our citizens and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.”

Three videos of the incident surfaced online each showing Fields standing over the student, who is seated at her desk, and then put his hands near her neck yanking her backwards. The student crashes onto the floor.

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