By WSOC-TV – Charlotte, N.C.
In the video, Deputy Ben Fields appears to grab the student and throw the girl across the floor in class in Richland County.
The incident happened at Spring Valley High School in Columbia on Monday and was caught on cellphone video by another student.
The sheriff’s office said Fields was acting in response to a teacher who called him to the classroom because the student was disrupting class and refused to leave.
WSOC-TV has discovered that Fields was sued in 2007 for allegations of excessive force but that a jury ruled in his favor.
Currently, Fields is one of 10 defendants in another case scheduled to go to trial in January. In that lawsuit, a former Spring Valley student claims he was unlawfully expelled from school in 2013.
“When you see a video like what we’ve seen earlier today, it certainly alarms you and makes you a little bit afraid of what is actually happening within our schools,” said Stephen Gilchrist, a parent.
According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, the student did not have a weapon but was disturbing the classroom when a teacher called for the officer.
Although the sheriff’s department is calling the video highly disturbing, they are urging people not to jump to conclusions until the investigation is complete.
Fields has been placed on administrative leave.