A classmate of the female student who was violently arrested in Monday’s controversial incident at Columbia, South Carolina’s Spring Valley High School says the incident began when the student took out her phone during math class. The classmate, Tony Robinson Jr., took one of the widely circulated phone videos of the arrest and spoke to local TV station WLTX 19 about what he saw:
Around 10:30 a.m., the girl who had the confrontation with the officer was working on her computer, and had her phone out, Robinson said. He said the teacher asked her for her phone, but she said no. An administrator was then called to the room, and Robinson said he pleaded with the girl to get out of her seat, but she didn’t.
“She really hadn’t done anything wrong,” Robinson said. “She said that she had took her phone out, but it was only for a quick second.”
At that point, Robinson says, school “resource officer” Ben Fields entered the room, but the student facing discipline still refused to get up.
“He asked her again, ‘will you move, will you move.’ She said ‘no I have not done anything wrong.’ Then he said, ‘I’m going to treat you fairly.’ And she said ‘I don’t even know who you are.’ And that is where it started right there.”
Fields is a deputy in the Richland County sheriff’s department and has been placed on administrative leave.