Statement from NAACP:
The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund (LDF) issued a statement after a video surfaced of police Officer Ben Fields violently assaulting and removing a student from a public school classroom in Columbia, South Carolina. While more details emerge about this troubling video, what is clear is that it shows a disturbing and violent interaction between a white male school police officer and a young African-American female. We urge a full and thorough investigation into not only this incident, but also into the history of use of force by school police in the district.
Furthermore, we are concerned that we learned of this incident from what appears to be a student video. Teachers must be properly trained to promptly report incidents of police abuse of students.
LDF has long advocated for eliminating police presence in K-12 grades because police dramatically increase the criminalization of students of color. Janel George, LDF’s Senior Education Counsel, stated, “This horrific video represents the problem with police in schools in its starkest terms. Police should simply not have a regular presence in an educational environment.” LDF calls for a full investigation of the incident and policing practices in this school district.