Sheriff says third video shows South Carolina student punching officer in classroom

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
FBI to Investigate Video of Female Student Body-Slammed by Cop

A third video taken as a school resource officer slammed a student sitting at her desk at a South Carolina high school also shows her punching the deputy during the confrontation, authorities said Tuesday.

That video -- which shows the girl flailing at the officer as he is already in the middle of flipping her chair over -- will play a part in the internal affairs investigation into whether Senior Deputy Ben Fields violated policy in Monday's incident at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.

SEE ALSO: Billy Joel to sing anthem at Game 3 of World Series

The first two videos of the incident, which came out and went viral on Monday, caused an uproar among social media.

By Monday evening, Fields was suspended without pay and was asked not to return to any of the school campuses within the Richland School District Two.

SEE MORE: Video Shows Cop Body-Slamming High School Girl in S.C. Classroom

The Justice Department and the FBI announced Tuesday they would open their own investigations into whether the girl's civil rights were violated. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is also conducting a separate probe.

Rep. McLeod: 'I Was Beyond Disgusted'

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters that his department's internal investigation should be completed within the next 24 hours, when he will announce Fields' fate with the agency.

"I wanted to throw up," Lott said after first viewing footage of the incident. "This makes you sick to your stomach when you see that initial video. But that's just a snapshot."

Lott also said he doesn't believe race was also a factor in what happened -- and noted that Fields has been dating an African-American woman for "quite some time."

Yet Fields -- whom students allegedly referred to as "Officer Slam" -- has also been the subject of previous excessive force and racial bias allegations.

Lott said they're looking at the videos taken by students inside the class and conducting interviews with the witnesses to determine whether the officer should have escalated the situation with physical force.

ALSO READ: Brawls erupt as Turkish police storm media group linked to Erdogan foe

A teacher had complained that the student, who has not been identified, was being unruly during class and refused to leave even after an administrator was called in.

"The student was wrong in what she did -- she disrupted class, she was disturbing the others students from getting an education. But does her actions meet the level of what this officer did?" Lott asked. "That's what we're going to decide."

Lott added that she had been texting and using her phone instead of doing her school work on a Chromebook during the algebra class.

Fields in the videos shared on social media stands in front of the student, and orders her to stand up or be forcibly removed. She refuses to leave. Fields is then seen body-slamming the student to the ground while she's still in her seat, and then dragging her and her desk across the floor.

READ MORE: South Carolina School Officer's Actions 'Over The Line,' Experts Say

In the third video viewed by police, Lott said, it shows the girl hitting the officer in the head once he puts his hands on her: "There's no question about that."

The female student in the video as well as a second student -- identified as Niya Kenny -- was arrested for "contributing to the chaos," Lott added.

Kenny told NBC News on Tuesday that she saw the officer put his arm around her classmate's neck, which is when she tried to hit him.

Kenny, who admits that she was "using a few F-bombs" during the confrontation, said Fields is known in the school for being physical.

"We already know his reputation, and I felt something bad was going to go down," Kenny said when the deputy walked into the classroom, adding, "He's known as Officer Slam."

South Carolina Student Says School Deputy Known as 'Officer Slam'

Sheriff Lott declined to comment about what actions Fields should have taken in the heat of the moment because the investigation is ongoing. Fields is also the defensive line and strength coach for Spring Valley's football team.

At an earlier news conference, school district officials Tuesday blasted Fields' actions, calling them "outrageous" and "reprehensible," and the video itself "shamefully shocking."

Schools Superintendent Debbie Hamm said the district is strengthening its training efforts with school resource officers to ensure such an incident doesn't happen again.

"As we have stated previously, the safety and dignity of our students is our highest priority," added School District Board Chairman James Manning.

Reaction over the video has been swift, and members of the group the Richland Two Black Parents Association called the officers' actions "unacceptable," reported NBC affiliate WIS. The student in the video is a black female, while the officer is white.

"Parents are heartbroken as this is just another example of the intolerance that continues to be of issue in Richland School District Two particularly with families and children of color," the parents association said in a statement. "As we have stated in the past, we stand ready to work in collaboration to address these horrible acts of violence and inequities among our children."

Trial is set for January in the case of an expelled student who claims Fields targeted blacks and falsely accused him of being a gang member in 2013.

Trial is set for January in the case of an expelled student who claims Fields targeted blacks and falsely accused him of being a gang member in 2013.

In another case, a federal jury sided with Fields after a black couple accused him of excessive force and battery during a noise complaint arrest in 2005. A third lawsuit, dismissed in 2009, involved a woman who accused him of battery and violating her rights during a 2006 arrest.

More from NBCNews.com:
Storm to Bring Damaging Winds, Rain From Plains to Carolinas
Florida Mom Whose Girl Was Found Dead in Freezer Had History of Abuse: Report
Diners Who Order 'Wild' Salmon Often Get Cheaper Substitute, Study Finds

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners