Officials have used terms such as "outrageous,” "reprehensible," and "shamefully shocking" to describe what they see in a video about a police officer who enforced rules on a girl. But do such reactions best characterize the cop’s behavior — or the girl’s?
By now millions of people have seen the viral video of Senior Deputy Ben Fields using physical force Monday on an unnamed Spring Valley High School student in Columbia, South Carolina. As the initial footage shows, the officer tells the 16-year-old girl to come with him, she refuses, and after a couple more requests he drags her out of her chair to enforce compliance. And the public reaction was swift. There was condemnation across the Internet for using such actions on a “child” and a “girl”; Fields’ boss, Sheriff Leon Lott, said that the initial “snapshot” of the incident made him want to “throw up”; the DOJ and FBI are conducting investigations into the event; and Fields has been accused of racial bias (he’s white, the girl is black). Moreover, it has just been reported that Fields has been terminated by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. But has common sense also been terminated?
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