The police officer caught on video flipping a female teen student backward in her desk and tossing her across a South Carolina classroom has been fired, it was announced Wednesday.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters that the officer, Deputy Sheriff Ben Fields was terminated, saying the "maneuver that he used was not based on training or acceptable."
"From the very beginning, that’s what caused me to be upset when I first saw that video — and continues to upset me when I see that video — is the fact the he picked the student up and he threw the student across the room," he said.
"Deputy Ben Fields did wrong this past Monday," Lott said. "We have moved quickly in this, and we have done the right thing in our actions in terminating him."
Lott said that he would not describe Fields as remorseful but that the officer was sorry the incident happened and tried to do his job.
The student was being disruptive and refused to leave the classroom despite being told by a teacher and administrator to do so, Lott said, and that's when Fields was brought to remove her from the class. She again refused, and he told her she was under arrest, Lott said.
She continued to refuse, and videos show Fields flipping the teen backward while still in her seat and then throwing her across the room. In doing so, Lott said, Fields did not use proper procedure. Lott added that the student involved, who has not been publicly named, was disruptive and disrespectful but that "what she did does not justify what our deputy did."
Earlier Wednesday, Todd Rutherford, the girl's lawyer, said she suffered several injuries during her arrest, contradicting previous reports that she wasn’t hurt during the incident.
"She now has a cast on her arm. She has neck and back injuries. She has a Band-Aid on her forehead where she suffered rug burn on her forehead," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."
Rutherford told the network that Fields should have been fired as soon as Lott saw video of the incident, which was recorded by several students at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.