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Justice Department Probing Taped Arrest of High School Student

The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after a deputy flipped a student backward in her desk and tossed her across the floor for refusing to leave her math class.

Federal help was sought by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who called what happened at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, “very disturbing” and placed Senior Deputy Ben Fields on leave. The sheriff’s department said no one was hurt, but the confrontation prompted outrage after it was recorded and shared online.

One student said it started when the girl refused her math teacher’s request to hand over her cellphone during class. During the moments posted online, Fields warns the girl to stand up or be forcibly removed.

The officer then wraps a forearm around her neck, flips her and the desk backward onto the floor, and tosses her toward the front of the classroom, where he handcuffs her. A second student was arrested for verbally objecting to the girl’s treatment. Both girls were charged with disturbing schools and released to their parents. Their names were not officially released.

Read more at JET.

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