Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Smile, You're on Camera

This one I cannot justify. Yes prosecuting both children and parents for assaulting people, defaming them on websites or other social media, making false allegations I have zero problem with that, unlike zero tolerance.

And then the story below and I watched the video, read the history of the school officer and thought either that school is a School for Scandal or the Blackboard Jungle combined or this dude falls under the use of excessive force.  And of course as I have asked in videos of Teachers being assaulted, where are the other adults? Where in this case is the Teacher? I would not have allowed this to escalate and I would just say to Security she is being challenging but then if she refused I would make Security sit in the room with me.. which I actually prefer and have had done.  It is way more effective the hit and bomb a room by walking in making some pronouncement is bizarre and utterly useless as soon as they walk out its game on. But nothing deserves this level of force.

Since this story came out two of the videographers were charged, since now reduced to one. But it and of itself video is not a crime.

 This one is touchy because of the issues of minors.  And again I have been an advocate of having cameras in classrooms and hallways so if you have a problem it is there, it is obvious and there is your documentation, be it Teacher or Student when the allegations fly. This bullshit about them being minors is fascinating as it goes out the window at the discretion of law enforcement. I do feel,  however,  they fall in line with security videos and the need for a subpoena to be released versus just a FOIA filing act as that issue with minors should have precedent.

So while I have seen kids become violent and it escalate to having kids "escorted" out I have never seen this from any child whose simple issue was verbal non compliance. Wow just wow. From the school yard to the jail yard and by that I mean the cop as clearly he is the one with immense issues as his history speaks for itself.

And he confirms what I have long said that the problems in schools are not the children but the adults however.

Feds open civil rights probe into S.C. police officer throwing student across classroom

By Elahe Izadi and Emma Brown October 27 at 1:52 PM
Officer flips and drags student at Spring Valley High School

Richland County, S.C., Sheriff's Deputy Ben Fields was called in to Spring Valley High School to remove a student. A classmate filmed the deputy slamming the student to the ground and dragging her through the classroom.

Federal authorities opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday into a South Carolina incident depicted in videos showing a police officer throwing a high school student across a classroom.

Numerous videos recorded inside of Richland County’s Spring Valley High quickly spread on social media Monday afternoon, sparking outrage amid an ongoing national debate on how law enforcement interacts with the communities they police.

The FBI in Columbia, S.C., the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for South Carolina are conducting the civil rights probe into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of the student.

“The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence in order to determine whether a federal law was violated,” a Justice spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who requested an independent probe, was “very disturbed” by the footage, said spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson. The deputy involved, who the sheriff’s department identified as Ben Fields, also has been placed on administrative leave.

Fields, a school resource officer, and an attorney representing him in a separate civil case did not immediately return requests for comment Tuesday.

It’s not clear what happened in the moments leading up to the 15-second video clip, and officials haven’t elaborated on the circumstances surrounding the incident. One clip shows Fields approaching the student and holding onto her, trying to yank her out of her chair and then putting her in a hold as the chair falls over. He then throws the student across the classroom floor and says, “put your hands behind your back.”

Richland Two School District is “deeply concerned” about the incident, district superintendent Debbie Hamm said in a statement Monday. “The District will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students,” she said.

The officer involved has been banned from school district property, the district’s Board of Trustees Chairman James Manning said in a statement Tuesday. He called the video “extremely disturbing.”

“The amount of force used on a female student by a male officer appears to me to be excessive and unnecessary,” Manning said. School officials plan to have a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Lott, who was out of town Monday, “has questions like everyone has – and he wants answers and once he has those answers he will address them,” Wilson said. “The Sheriff is asking for everyone to be patient as this is being fully investigated.”

WIS-TV also posted a longer version of the video that appears to have been taken from a different angle.

The one-and-a-half minute clip shows an officer asking a student seated at a desk to “just stand up” and ends with the student being thrown across the classroom.

“Are you going to come with me or am I going to make you? Come on,” the officer says. “I’m going to get you up.”

Fields won a 2007 civil suit brought against him alleging that he used excessive force when investigating a noise complaint.

A student filed another lawsuit against Fields, scheduled for trial in January. The student was expelled after being accused of belonging to a gang, and alleges Fields “unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity.”

News of the federal inquiry into the Spring Valley High incident was welcomed by the Richland Two Black Parents Association.

“The unfortunate actions of this police officer has revealed what many African American parents have experienced in this district for a very long time,” reads a statement. “This is just another example of why we must have an independent assessment from various parties including the Department of Justice to examine policies and practices in the District.”

National organizations have called attention to the video as an example of police over-reach in schools.

“Instead of deescalating the situation, Deputy Ben Fields dehumanized and criminalized a black teenage girl,” said Judith Browne, co-director of Advancement Project, a civil rights group. “Current police culture has no place in our schools.”

The American Civil Liberties Union also condemned the actions depicted in the videos.

“There is no justification whatsoever for treating a child like this,” said Victoria Middleton, executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina. “Regardless of the reason for the officer’s actions, such egregious use of force — against young people who are sitting in their classrooms — is outrageous. School should be a place to learn and grow, not a place to be brutalized. We must take action to address the criminalization of children in South Carolina, especially at school.”

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