In June, it was Dajerria Becton on the receiving end of a takedown. Her crime? Swimming while Black.
In September, it was James Blake, the former tennis pro, who was on the receiving end of a takedown outside of a Manhattan hotel. His crime? Looking like a Suspect While Black.
In October, we don’t know the name of the female student in Spring Valley High School who was on the receiving end of a takedown administered by Officer Ben Fields. Her crime appears to be Refusing to Leave Her Seat While Black.
(CNN)The video shows a South Carolina school resource officer standing over a student, seated at her desk. He puts his arm near her neck, then yanks her backward. The desk tips over and the student crashes onto the floor.
The uniformed officer doesn’t let go, sharply tugging the student toward the front of the classroom. She flies out of her desk and slides several feet across the floor.
“Give me your hands,” the officer says.
His is the only voice heard. Other students sit calmly and quietly, one of them covering his face with his hand.
Yet many haven’t been so quiet since the footage out of Columbia, South Carolina, surfaced.
Some have defended the officer, many pointing out that the video isn’t complete. It doesn’t show what happened before, including what the student did and how many times authorities — a teacher, a school administrator and finally the officer, Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Fields — had asked her to get up.
Others, though, think the video shows more than enough to warrant Fields’ firing. There’s no excuse, they say, for a law enforcement officer to act that way against a student who hasn’t harmed or threatened anyone.
At least two videos shot by students show the dramatic scene Monday inside a math classroom at Spring Valley High School. None show much of what happened before it, however.
According to Lt. Curtis Wilson, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the instructor had asked the student “to leave the class several times.”
“The assistant principal was there as well,” Wilson said. “Then the officer was called to actually have the student removed from that location. The student refused.”
This is where the video picks up, capturing Fields as he says, “You’re either going to come with me, or I’m going to make you.”
The student doesn’t budge. Fields tells her, “Come on, I’m going to get you up,” and tries to pull her from the desk.
The officer gets the student up only after she first crashes to the floor and is then flung across the room.
Wilson said that no one was injured in the incident.
The student — who was released to her parents after the incident — faces a charge of disturbing schools, according to Wilson. Another female student, Niya Kenny, faces the same charge after allegedly standing up for the other teenager, her mother, Doris Ballard told CNN.
The FBI and area U.S. Attorney’s Office have opened a civil rights investigation to determine whether federal laws were violated during the student’s arrest, a Justice Department spokesperson said.
By any objective standard the cop applied an undue degree of force (and trust there will be objections Fields used excessive force). This is only the latest example of the daily degradation and cruel brutality which can be inflicted upon any African American anywhere at any time.
Let Barack Obama, Kanye West and Ben Carson all walk out of a bar and cross the wrong cop and they’ll catch an ass-kicking sure as any brother on the block. The wearing of dark flesh is a criminal activity in this country.
This may fly in the face of my rep, but I don’t blame the cop. Well, not entirely. To be certain, Officer Fields has a colorful and checkered past with reports this is not the first time he’s apparently slammed a female around. Fields is also a powerlifter who can squat 940 pounds and though he hasn’t been tested for steroid usage, after this it’s legit to wonder if there is any ‘Roid rage’ going on inside his bulked up bod.
Fields has been the recipient of a 2014 “Culture of Excellence” Award and it was said he “has proven to be an exceptional role model to the students he serves and protects.”
Not looking too good for a repeat win in 2015, Officer. Does it make you feel like a real man and tossing a teenage girl around like a sack of potatoes, you cowardly piece of shit?
One would think anyone who can squat 900 lbs would have no problem lifting the student and the chair and depositing both outside of the classroom. Fields chose another course of action and one that has made him a strong contender to score the Dumb Ass Video of the Week award.
But why was Fields at Spring Valley High School body slamming girls in the first place? Why is any police officer providing security–or the muscle–at any school? Are these students or criminals.
Whenever it was school systems decided to abdicate their roles as disciplinarians and turn it over to the police, that was a decision bound to bring about these sort of incidents. If teachers and administrators can’t control their unruly, uncooperative and stank attitude students, maybe they shouldn’t be teachers and administrators in the first damn place. I know…I know…kids are different today. They have no respect for anyone. Not their parents, not their teachers, not even themselves.
This is what you have the police and Fox News for. To justify this. To tell you the little uppity bitch deserved it. To tell you ALL these niggers deserve it.
Schools have passed the buck for controlling their classrooms to armed police and internal security officers. When you view the kids you’re charged with educating as nails using a hammer solution to every problem makes a sick sort of sense.
I don’t want men with guns in schools. I don’t want police officers on school campuses UNLESS AND UNTIL there is a demonstrated need to be there. Got a problem with weapons, drugs, gang violence or other actions which disrupt a safe learning environment? Fine. Call in the cops, but not to go in there and start busting heads. If schools need some sort of liability protection from lawsuits to take back the enforcement of discipline, then so be it. I want teachers to do their jobs and cops to do theirs and it shouldn’t be their job to bounce kids off a floor while the others look on or away in horror.
But I do not want overmuscled, steroids gobbling punks with small penis issues bouncing a girl off the floor. And the wall. And down the hallway. Fire this bully with a badge right now and beat the eventual lawsuit later.
What did anyone learn from that little demonstration of mindless violence? If you’re bigger you can get your way because you can kick some ass? That’s some lesson. How do you build the next generation of cop haters? Treat ’em like criminals early, show ’em who’s boss and get ’em prepped to be plugged into the school-to-prison pipeline.
The unnamed student should have been suspended from school, but forget about that now. Officer Fields made sure of that and he deserves whatever is coming to him from this shameful and ugly episode, but he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. You call the cops when you need someone to get a burglar out of your house, not because a kid doesn’t want to get with the program. Not every situation requires the unrestrained use of unnecessary force, but that was a distinct possibility, if not a complete certainty would happen one day.
Everyone is to blame. We have criminalized a generation of children and we have permitted criminal solutions to be applied to them. We have allowed the police to treat Blacks like dogs and worse than dogs. We have not made those who would humiliate us, beat us, break us, KILL us, suffer the consequences for their evil. We have not taken eyes for eyes, spilled blood for blood spilled, terrorize those who terrorize us.
Cops like Ben Fields are like the cops who beat down Becton and Blake and beat down Sandra Bland and killed Tamir Rice and Oscar Grant and Eric Garner and Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo and Walter Scott and NONE of them are “good cops.” They are bad cops, rotten cops, brutal cops, killer cops and they will never stop. Not ever. Not until they are stopped.
There is a limit to how much abuse a whipped dog will take. There is no “justice” in the American injustice system and Black people cannot place their faith in a system which has never valued or protected us. If never has and it never will. It’s one thing to target young Black men and women, but quite another when Black children are being targeted.
The moment is coming where those being brutalized will have to go looking for their own justice. Things are coming to a flash point. What happens when it flashes over? Being a bad-ass bully with a badge may not be bad ass enough. This is a confrontation nobody should want because nobody can win, but damn if there aren’t forces spoiling for it.
WE ARE NOT DOGS. YOU CAN SHOOT A DOG BUT DOGS DON’T SHOOT BACK.