A police officer in Columbia, SC, can be seen throwing a girl to the ground and dragging her across a high school classroom in a video that even the local sheriff admits is disturbing. After the video went viral on Monday, resource officer Ben Fields was shifted to administrative duties pending an investigation, the State reports, and the school district says Fields has been told "not to return to any school in the district." A Richland County Sheriff's Department spokesman says the girl, who was still seated when Fields flipped her desk over, was arrested for disturbing the peace. A fellow Spring Valley High School student tells NBC News that the officer was called in after the girl refused a request to leave the classroom.
The girl shows no sign of resistance during the video, and in a longer version, Fields can be heard threatening to arrest a student who objected, reports Reuters. A sheriff's office spokesman tells the State that the sheriff has seen the video and "was very disturbed by what he saw." NBC reports that a 2013 lawsuit accused Fields, who is white, of "unfairly and recklessly" targeting "African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity." Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin issued a statement calling the officer's behavior unacceptable and asking for an independent investigation, the State reports. (Read more South Carolina stories.)