A lawyer representing Ben Fields, the sheriff’s deputy who was fired after video surfaced of him throwing a high school girl out of a desk and dragging her across a classroom, said his client’s actions were justified and professional in a statement issued Wednesday.
“We believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident. To that extent, we believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were carried out professionally and that he was performing his job duties within the legal threshold,” the attorney, Scott J. Hayes, said in the statement, ABC News reports.
Fields was a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, where he was called to an Algebra 1 class Monday morning to help remove a disruptive student from the classroom. Video of the events that followed showed Fields flipping the student’s desk backward and dragging her toward the door. An internal review by the Sheriff’s Department found that Field’s had violated department policy and the deputy was subsequently fired Wednesday. A Justice Department investigation of the incident is ongoing.
“Mr. Fields welcomes the opportunity to address the particulars at the appropriate time,” Hayes said in the statement. “However, since this matter is presently under investigation with federal authorities, he is respectfully declining to make a statement at this time.”