An influential South Carolina Democrat plans to represent a teenage girl thrown to the ground by a school resource officer — and he intends to change a state law that allows police to arrest students for being disruptive in class.
Richland County Deputy Ben Fields was fired Wednesday for violating agency policy when he picked up the 16-year-old girl and threw her across a classroom during the arrest at Spring Valley High School.
State Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Columbia) told WLTX-TV the 16-year-old girl suffered arm, neck and back injuries when Fields grabbed her by the throat and threw her to the ground after the teen refused to hand over her cell phone to a teacher.
“He weighs about 300 pounds,” Rutherford said. “She is a student who is 16 years old, who now has a cast on her arm, a band aid on her neck, and neck and back problems. There’s something wrong here.”
Rutherford told the New York Daily News that the teen recently lost her mother and is living in a foster home. The teen’s foster mother said the girl was “devastated and emotionally traumatized by all that has happened to her,” according to the Daily News.
Rutherford said that lawmakers must tighten up restrictions on use of force by school resources officers such as Fields — who students say was “known for slamming”pregnant women and teenage girls to the ground.
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