• VIDEO: School officer throws student in SC classroom


    RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has asked the FBI in South Carolina to investigate the confrontation between a school resource officers and a female high school student in Columbia.

    Sheriff's Lt. Curtis Wilson said in a statement Tuesday that Lott has followed up the request with a letter to the U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, Bill Nettles, asking for the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to investigate.

    A group called the Richland Two Black Parents Association also called for a federal investigation of the confrontation. The group said video has "revealed what many African American parents have experienced in this district for a very long time."

    In the video, Officer Ben Fields can be seen grabbing the student and throwing the girl across the floor in class in Richland County.

    The incident happened at Spring Valley High School in Columbia Monday and was caught on cellphone video by another student.

    • PRESS PLAY to watch Good Morning America's coverage of the incident:

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    The sheriff's office said Fields was acting in response to a teacher who called him to the classroom because the student was disrupting class and refused to leave.

    Channel 9 has discovered that Fields was sued in 2007 for allegations of excessive force but that a jury ruled in his favor.

    Currently, Fields is one of 10 defendants in another case scheduled to go to trial in January. In that lawsuit, a former Spring Valley student claims he was unlawfully expelled from school in 2013.

    "When you see a video like what we've seen earlier today, it certainly alarms you and makes you a little bit afraid of what is actually happening within our schools," said Stephen Gilchrist, a parent.

    According to the Richland County Sheriffs’ Office, the student did not have a weapon but was disturbing the classroom when a teacher called for the officer.

    Although the sheriff's department is calling the video highly disturbing, they are urging people not to jump to conclusions until the investigation is complete.

    School administrator Debbie Hamm said in a statement that the school district is "deeply concerned." Hamm said student safety is always the top priority and the district will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize student safety.

    Fields has been placed on administrative leave.

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