Todd Rutherford, the respected Columbia, S.C., attorney representing the assault victim of the recently terminated Deputy Ben Fields, revealed that his client, in addition to suffering injuries on her face, neck, and arm, is a recent orphan living in foster care. Life for a 16-year-old black girl in the New South living in a foster home is no crystal stair. While her identity, no doubt, will eventually be leaked to the media. The goal of her foster mother to protect and care for her as well as she can considering the circumstances. She said that the young victim is devastated and emotionally traumatized by all that has happened to her. School, as you can imagine, could be particularly tough for a young girl who has experienced so much pain and loss in her young life. To think that she has now suffered police brutality and is facing trumped up criminal charges for age-appropriate classroom behavior is just despicable. Some trauma cannot be undone.
The early loss of a parent and the experience of police brutality are both examples of such trauma. Our kids, who already face enormous pressure in life, should never be subjected to state-sponsored violence while in school. For this young girl, Spring Valley High School should’ve been a refuge. Instead, it was something far worse.
Deputy Ben Fields of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, was fired on Wednesday for using excessive force on a teenage girl at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C. In his press conference announcing the termination, Sheriff Leon Lott, who has overseen the department for nearly 20 years, made it clear that the student who was assaulted did not pose any danger to the deputy or the students and that Fields violated multiple policies, his training, and the use of force continuum when he brutally tossed the young girl around like a rag doll.
This is progress and it absolutely would not have happened had the entire world not expressed their outrage over the assault. Ironically, it was students who used their cell phones, which was a violation of the school policy, who filmed a student being ejected for class for using her cell phone, who really broke this case wide open. Without their videos, it’s highly doubtful that the officer would’ve been terminated because the teacher and administrator in the classroom each signed statements saying they supported the use of force. In other words, the videos and social media made this happen.While it feels like progress, it’s not enough.
Now is the time for Ben Field to be arrested for brutal assault on high school girl no alternative to that.