Authorities in Richland County, South Carolina, are investigating a video that surfaced Monday showing a uniformed officer aggressively confronting a high school student.... the incident ... took place on Monday at Spring Valley High School, according to school officials. The video, which appears to have been recorded on a cellphone by a classmate, shows a white male officer standing over a black female student sitting at her desk; moments later he grabs the student and flips her on her back. After dragging her across the floor, the officer says, "Hands behind your back -- give me your hands."The officer's name is Ben Fields, and it appears that he doesn't suffer the inhibitions that FBI director James Comey claims are now widespread in the police community:
"In today's YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?" [Comey] asked in his Friday remarks. "I don't know whether this explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year. And that wind is surely changing behavior."That "chill wind" doesn't seem to have changed the behavior of Fields, does it? Oh, and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has said similar things:
With Chicago's annual murder count soaring, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is laying blame on what he sees as the chilling effects of high-profile protests against police brutality and officers' fear of cell phone videos of their actions going viral.Officer Fields seems not to have let concerns like this worry him.
"Officers themselves were telling me about how the news over the last 15 months have impacted their instincts -- do they stop, or do they keep driving? When I stop here, is it going to be my career on the line?" Emanuel said this week....
What Comey and Emanuel seem to be saying is that police officers routinely do things that look terrible even though they're perfectly acceptable and legal, and they need to be able to continue doing those terrible-looking but perfectly innocent things without public scrutiny. Or are they saying that cops routinely violate the law, individuals' civil rights, and common decency, and since that's just unavoidable, wouldn't it be better if people just don't see it?
Unlike the terrified, intimidated cops Comey and Emanuel warn us about, Fields seems very willing to throw his weight around, according to Heavy.com:
Former and current students flocked to Twitter to lodge their complaints about Fields.
Yes, Deputy Fields has done this numerous times. But this is the first time I've seen it captured on video and shared like this.— ANM.❤️ (@FakeAsian__) October 26, 2015
One student says she saw Fields “slam” a pregnant student in 2012:
I was coming from lunch and saw Deputy Fields slam that pregnant woman. I was frozen in shock at how he was man handling her.— ANM.❤️ (@FakeAsian__) October 26, 2015
it's sad it wasn't a big surprise to me bc deputy fields BEEN slamming kids since I graduated 3yrs ago just was never captured.— Janae Ricks (@xojanae__) October 26, 2015
Heavy also reports that Fields is facing a lawsuit -- his second.
But maybe typical cops are cowed and terrified, and Fields is just unusually fearless because he's made himself a physically intimidating figure:
According to his now-deleted Twitter account, Fields is also the defensive line and strength coach for the Spring Valley High School football team....Raw Story says Fields
Videos posted on YouTube show Fields weightlifting:
can be seen in several videos posted four years ago by a fitness professional, Marc “Spud” Bartley.On Bartley's YouTube page, we're told that
Marc "Spud" Bartley is an accomplished powerlifter and the Founder of Nutrition Warehouse, South Carolina Barbell and Spud Inc Straps.I wonder if any of the products sold by Nutrition Warehouse are regularly used by Fields -- or perhaps similar products of a more, um, medical nature. And I wonder if any aspects of Fields's personality could be attributed to his consumption of these products.
In any case, Fields has now been banned from working at the school. Perhaps Comey and Emanuel feel vindicated -- another cop's career ruined! Wouldn't it be better if he could body-slam teenagers without being seen by the entire nation?