South Carolina Sheriff Fires Officer After Violent Arrest, Places 'Some Responsibility' on Student

By Ryan Stewart 10-28-2015
YouTube / Magic Storm Media / CNN
Screenshot via YouTube / Magic Storm Media / CNN

South Carolina sheriff Leon Lott announced Oct. 28 that Ben Fields, the police officer who violently arrested a 15-year-old black female student at Spring Valley High School, has been fired.

"It's not what I expect from my deputies, and it's not what I tolerate from my deputies," said Lott.

"It continues to upset me that he picked the student up and threw her."

Although Lott removed Fields from his police force, he also spent a significant discussing the student's behavior, saying she is partially responsible for the situation.

"When a classroom is disrupted by a student, that disrupts the education process and the students can't learn and the teachers can't teach," Lott said.

"We must not lose sight that this whole incident started by this student. She is responsible for initiating this action. Some responsibility falls on her."

Yet, Lott was clear to say, "what she did doesn't justify what our deputy did."

Watch part of the sheriff's announcement here:

Some activists took to Twitter to call for further action against Fields, including #BlackLivesMatter organizer Deray Mckesson:

Ferguson organizer and teacher Brittany Packnett also expressed her disappointment with Lott's criticism of the students:

Read more at The Washington Post.

Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart is a Masters of Divinity student at Yale Divinity School, where he studies race, religion, and literature. You can find him on Twitter @RyanMcStew.

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