The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have agreed to open an independent civil rights investigation into yesterday’s violent arrest of a teenage girl at a Columbia, South Carolina, high school. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who employs the deputy seen body-slamming the Spring Valley High School student in a viral video, requested the investigation after viewing the video. The deputy in question, Ben Fields, has been reported for violence against civilians several times.
Lott released a statement on the department’s Facebook page:
FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas also released a statement today, per WLTX:
The Columbia FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a student at Spring Valley High School. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence in order to determine whether a federal law was violated. As this is an ongoing investigation, per Department of Justice policy we are unable to comment further at this time.
Read full details of the incident here.