Atty: Fired Officer’s Actions Were ‘Justified’
An attorney for the South Carolina officer who was captured on film dragging a young female high school student out of a classroom says his client’s actions were “justified and lawful,” CNN reports.
Video of the arrest sparked national outrage and birthed a debate about what role police should play in school discipline.
Deputy Ben Fields was fired on Wednesday.
“We believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident,” said Scott Hayes who is representing Fields. “To that extent we believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were carried out professionally and that he was performing his job duties within the legal threshold.”
Fields admitted to using “muscling techniques” to get the student out of her chair.
The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the incident.
Sheriff Leon Lott said that while the “actions by Deputy Fields was not typical” of the job he expects school resource officers to do, the student must shoulder responsibility for the disruptive behavior that escalated to the officer being called in.
“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 have to have discipline in our schools.”
The girl’s lawyer says she suffered a bruise on her head as a result of the incident. He also said she now has to wear a cast on her arm.
Check back for updates.