Officer Who Slammed S.C. High School Student Has a Disturbing History

Ben Fields, the Richland County sheriff's deputy who grabbed a 15-year-old student, flipped her while she sat in her desk, and dragged her across a classroom floor has a disturbing history of aggressive behavior, according to students at Spring Valley High School, the Columbia, South Carolina, school where the incident occurred. And he reportedly once manhandled an Army veteran, too.

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BREAKING: Disturbing new video of a police officer using force...

BREAKING: Disturbing new video of a police officer using force against a student in South Carolina.More details here: http://bit.ly/1WeqNs3

Posted by ATTN: on Monday, October 26, 2015

Fields allegedly has a history of aggressive use of force.

The video of Fields' violent response to the situation has gone viral, but this isn't the first time that Fields has come under fire for reported excessive force. He was sued by a couple in 2007 for allegedly making a false arrest and using excessive force. After being stopped by Fields, who suspected that he was the source of an excessive noise complaint, Army veteran Chris Martin said that Fields "slammed him to the ground, cuffed him, began kicking him, and chemically maced him until his clothing was drenched and the contents of the can of mace was [sic] depleted," CNN reported. Martin's case was eventually dismissed due to an inability to prove excessive force, the New York Daily News reported. Martin's wife's lawsuit went to trial, and the jury sided with the police department.

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Students at Spring Valley have also come out in full force on Twitter, describing previous incidents where Fields acted excessively aggressive with high school students. He allegedly slammed a pregnant woman down, one former Spring Valley student said.

FIelds has also been sued for bias against Black students. "Fields unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity," attorney Reginald Lloyd wrote in a lawsuit filed last year, the New York Daily News reported. The lawsuit will go to trial in January.

A Color of Change petition calling for Fields to be fired has circulated online.

"Officer Fields has a history of attacking students, who say they’ve complained about him for years," a letter on the petition reads.

"We are writing to demand that officer Ben Fields be immediately fired and prosecuted for brutally and maliciously attacking a Black female high school student who posed no threat. Videos of the attack provide more than enough evidence that Fields committed a crime, and that he is unfit to be a police officer or to work with students in any capacity."

The school district and the Richland County Sheriff's Office have launched investigations into the incident. Fields has been placed on leave without pay. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott saw the video and was "very disturbed by it," spokesperson Lt. Curtis Wilson said. Lott said that Fields would not be returning to the school. He is also asking the FBI and Justice Department to conduct independent investigations into the incident.

ATTN: has reached out to the Richland County School District Two and the Richland County Sheriff's Office, but representatives could not be reached by the time of publication.

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