I was going to post about this days ago. I’m sorry for taking so long.
I’m just more concerned with being correct than I am with being first.
So, if you’ve been on Twitter, or if you’ve checked in on CNN, you’ve seen this
South Carolina strikes again.
Monday, at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, a student was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy in what most considered an unnecessarily violent manner.
As you saw in the video, the officer (Deputy Ben Fields) grabbed the student by wrapping his arm around her neck, forcing her and the desk backward to the ground, and then aggressively dragged her out of her desk and tossed her to the other side of the room.
The main part of the story I was waiting for was some knowledge of what LED to the encounter. It’s been reported that the student was asked by her teacher to give up her cell phone. After she refused to do this, the teacher and an administrator asked her to leave the classroom. She refused to do that, also.
Apparently, the asst. principal then called for the deputy, who was an SRO, to come and get the student.
Niya Kenny, 18, was also arrested on the same charge: “disturbing the schools.”
So Fields asked the student to get up from her seat, and she refused. He then proceeded to remove her from the seat by force.
Kenny told CNN:
“When he came in the classroom, I immediately told my classmates, ‘Get your phones out, get your phones out. I think this is going to go downhill.’ And it did.”
PAUSE. IS IT NOT INTERESTING HOW THE STUDENTS SEEMED TO ALREADY KNOW HOW THIS WAS GOING TO TURN OUT? IT’S ALMOST LIKE THIS SORT OF THING HAS BECOME A SOCIETAL NORM.
According to CNN, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott suspended Deputy Ben Fields after the incident, and fired him yesterday (Oct. 28).
Fields’ attorney said in a statement:
“We believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident. 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.”
Among the criticisms of Fields: his admitted use of “muscling techniques” to get the student out of her chair. But that’s only one part of the story.
“Yeah I mean, you gotta do whatcha gotta do. She wouldn’t get up so I used the ol’ muscling techniques. Hey, she was askin’ for it.”
I’m not a hundred percent certain of a coincidence here, but of course, like every other violent encounter between a law officer and a black youth, people say that the student “attacked” the officer at first.
The sheriff says that in video footage, the student “popped [Fields] with her fist” when he put his hands on her. Still, he condemns his deputy’s actions. Hence the firing.
Sheriff Leon Lott told CNN:
“He regrets it. He’s been at the school for seven years. He loved those students…he wishes it never happened this way. This wasn’t his intent.”
What part of it wasn’t his intent? The flipping part or the throwing part?
Niya Kenny’s attorney, Simone Martin, said she’s been told “by a number of the students that he is referred to as Officer Slam as opposed to Officer Fields. And that’s telling.”
WHO IS THIS GUY???
The students probably sat there in silence because they didn’t want to be next.
While I feel that the police forces of this country, in general, have been militarized to a problematic extent, I also feel that it is important not to condemn every member of the force as ruthless and unlawful.
Here’s why I’m appreciative of this county sheriff.
“Too often, these teachers in these schools are calling on the cops because they have a disruptive student in the classroom. This is not a cop’s job.”
Why in the world did South Carolina pass a legislature that makes “disturbing the schools” illegal?
There are so many things a person could do to “disturb” school.
Would I be arrested for repeatedly slamming my locker? In most places, that would be a detention or something.
The sheriff also states that the schools and the law enforcement officers are supposed to see what they can do to solve problems WITHOUT arresting the children. It just seems so drastic and superfluous to take legal action over yelling or not leaving your desk.
Police brutality is serious in every single case of it.
If a student is refusing to follow simple orders, it may be aggravating, and it may be cause for disciplinary action.
But I see no excuses for manhandling a child in the way we all clearly witnessed, just for that.
Not everyone agrees with me, though.
The Washington Times reported the reaction of a one Ted Nugent, musician and conservative commentator.
Nugent said that Fields yanked the “defiant brat” out of her desk, and “dragged her kicking and screaming like the disobedient punk she is.”
Damn, Nugent. It sounds like you and this student have some personal past beef with each other that hasn’t been settled.
He ended his commentary with this gem:
“Obey and you won’t get beat. Obey and you won’t get shot.”
…Let me repeat that.
“Obey and you won’t get beat. Obey and you won’t get shot.”
That took a huge jump. And it implies a lot. The word “shot” was totally irrelevant for this case, so he was quite obviously referencing past conflicts that were definitely way worse than this one.
It’s proven, with every cop-on-youth incident, that there are two sides. There’s the side that blames the police, and the side that blames the citizen.
So what are the social implications of this incident?
The student is black, so do we then incite more “Black Lives Matter” protests? Or do we take a step back and examine our laws as well as how our police are trained?
I don’t even think this officer is racist. I think he is just an unnecessarily aggressive cop.
BUT, SINCE MR. NUGENT WANTS TO TALK ABOUT PEOPLE WHO GET SHOT BY THE POLICE, HERE WE GO:
I am honestly tired of the same story crowding the mass mediums all the time. I’m tired of people who are sworn to hold themselves to a higher ethical standard than your average citizen, choosing to act as though they are above the law they are supposed to enforce.
I am sick of minors being treated like rabid dogs the moment they show any ‘signs’ of disobedience.
I am so over the people who think that there are zero traces of prejudice or profiling when a police officer brutally attacks someone for no good reason.
I will not stand for people, especially my people, being deemed as criminals before any real crime is committed.
This specific incident aside, I am done with 2015 looking like 1965.
There is lot we can say about what happened in Columbia, SC on Monday.
There is only so much we should say, though. And what we should say is the following:
Fields should not have done what he did.
Thank goodness the student was not hurt.
Let’s not blame victims.
Let’s not blame entire groups.
Also, be more concerned with being correct than with being first, or with getting your own opinion out.
While I was writing this piece, my friend Doug stated the following about Deputy Ben Fields:
“I think he was bullied in high school and has a small penis.”
We appreciate your input, Doug.
we’re all human.