Ben Fields is now a former South Carolina sheriff’s deputy.
I’ve got to hand it to Sheriff Leon Lott for acting swiftly and decisively in terminating Fields for tossing a high school student across the room in an altercation that erupted at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C.
We’ve all seen the video. It involves — yes, that’s right — an African-American student and a white law enforcement officer.
A female student was disrupting a class. Her teacher told her to put her cell phone away. The girl refused. The teacher called a school administrator. The girl continued to disobey instructions to put the phone away. Then the call went out to Fields, a Richland County deputy sheriff serving as a school resource officer at Spring Valley.
How did Fields respond. The burly deputy picked the girl out of her chair and threw her across the room.
That’s where the deputy messed up, according to Lott.
Surely the girl needs to be punished for her part in escalating the altercation.
Sheriff Lott, though, acted appropriately in terminating Fields. Lott informed the media this morning that deputies receive ample training on de-escalating tensions. Fields, shall we say, did quite the opposite.
Whatever happens next to the girl remains in the hands of the school and her parents.
It appears to me that she needs a visit to the proverbial woodshed … which is a task that belongs to Mom and Dad.
With all the talk these days about slow response from law enforcement agencies to situations such as this, it appears that Sheriff Lott has listened and has acted.