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Attorney: Black Teen Dragged by SC Cop in Classroom Suffered Severe Injuries

The attorney for a teen who was flipped backward out of her desk and tossed across a classroom says his client did suffer several injuries during her arrest.

Columbia attorney Todd Rutherford told ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday that Richland County Senior Deputy Ben Fields should have been fired as soon as Sheriff Leon Lott saw the video recorded by several students at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.

"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," Rutherford told the network.

Lott had said Tuesday that the girl was uninjured in the confrontation but "may have had a rug burn." Lott could decide as early as Wednesday whether to fire Fields.

"We're going to handle it appropriately and we're going to handle it very quickly. This is not something that should drag out," Lott told reporters at a news conference Tuesday. "I think the public demands and expects and should get a very quick answer on this, and that's what we're going to do."

The videos of the confrontation between the white deputy and black girl stirred such outrage that Lott called the FBI and Justice Department for help.

A criminal investigation was underway, but the probe generally takes more time. Videos taken by students and posted online show Fields warning the girl to leave her seat or be forcibly removed Monday after she apparently texted in class and refused to surrender her phone to the teacher.

When she doesn't get up from her desk, the officer wraps a forearm around her neck, flips her and the desk backward onto the floor, tosses her toward the front of the classroom and handcuffs her.

The sheriff suspended Fields without pay Monday. Lott, who rushed home from an out of town conference when the news broke, said that a teacher and vice principal in the classroom at the time felt the officer acted appropriately.

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