Sheriff Leon Lott that Deputy Sheriff Ben Fields has been terminated for assaulting a young 16-year-old girl. And he also made sure the young girl realized that it was her fault as well.
"Deputy Ben Fields did wrong Monday," Lott said, adding that Fields had been terminated from the department roughly 20 minutes before the noon press announcement. The department's investigation into Fields' conduct was complete in just 48 hours.
But even as he announced Fields' firing, Lott appeared to defend the deputy's actions and shift at least some of the blame for the encounter to the student, whom he described as "very disruptive and very disrespectful."
"We must not lose sight that the whole incident was started by this student," he said.
The violent classroom arrest at Spring Valley High School in Columbia prompted a local investigation from the sheriff's department, the state's attorney's office as well as a federal probe into whether Fields, who is white, violated the civil rights of the 16-year-old student, who is black.
More to come