Perspective: Student faces police brutality

Denise White

A video of Deputy Ben Fields throwing a black female student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina has recently gone viral. There have been retweets and posts being shared all over social media over how the officer’s actions were unjustified.

With incidents like this, it’s incredible to think that Fields was still working in the first place if he already had a record. But, there are those who disagree: people who believe that this man had the god-given right to fling this young girl across the room all because she didn’t listen. Comments on Facebook included, “Oh she clearly deserved this because she was defying authority.”

It is understood that Fields is a resource officer to help and protect students at that school. He was called for a reason to remove a student who apparently was on her phone during class. Were his actions justified? Hell no. And the scary part about this is that people agree with his actions.

Sheriff Leon Lott recently spoke at a press conference explaining that Fields has been terminated and he’s requested the FBI and Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate the incident. Lott also added, “I do not feel that the proper procedures were used at this point.” Thankfully, this man was fired, being that he’s had other incidents where he’s used excessive force on students.

In 2013, Ashton Reese, a former Spring Valley high school student, filed suit against Fields, accusing Fields of civil rights violations. Fields “unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity,” the lawsuit reads, according to The New York Times.

Why in the right mind, would it be OK to fling a person across a room? Not only a person, but an underage child. Would’ve his actions been different if she was a male or if she was white? Yes. There’s a reason these videos go viral and a reason there are so many of them involving people of color. A prime example is Dylan Roof who went to a black church and killed nine people, yet he gets escorted out with a bullet proof vest on and gets treated to some fast food.

It is horrible to think that it’s always white people who need convincing that black people are unfairly discriminated. Why do people think it is okay to be assaulted by a police officer while in school because she didn’t want to leave the classroom? Now she has to deal with the effects of police brutality for the rest of her life, as if she already hasn’t had to deal with enough?

Note that this young girl is actually in foster care and doesn’t have her real parents around. She has already dealt with a lot of emotional trauma and this just adds more to it. There was recently a video of the boy who actually recorded the incident and he said that a lot of the students in the class felt “scared for their life.” Is this the message that we want to send to these students?

There’s a post on Facebook that reads how there’s an inherent criminality associated with black people, even if they’re dealing with emotional and mental trauma. This is exactly what happened with this young, black student.

Black girls are constantly construed in the media that they have bad attitudes and are always complaining. They’re made out to be rude and uncivilized. She may have misbehaved in class, but only because she was dealing with pain. Yet she gets thrown out of a desk and flung across the room for “defying authority” and people say she deserves it.

The idea that people who agree with the officer’s actions is disheartening. They once again prove that our country still has racism, although no one really wants to admit it.