WATCH: This Student Was Arrested for Challenging an Abusive Officer in School

One day last fall, Niya Kenny was sitting in her math class at Spring Valley High School in Richland County, South Carolina, when a police officer came into the classroom. A girl in her class had refused to put away her cell phone, and the teacher had summoned an administrator, who called on the officer assigned to the school. 

Niya thought the officer was bad news — his name was Ben Fields, but he was so aggressive that students knew him as Officer Slam. As soon as he entered the room, she called out for other students to record him.

Three different students made cell phone videos of what happened next. Fields picked the girl up, flipped her in her desk, and then grabbed an arm and a leg to throw her across the room. Niya stood up and called out, she recalled later. “Isn’t anyone going to help her?” she asked. “Y’all cannot do this!”

Fields yelled at Niya to sit down and be quiet. She was so scared that she was yelling and crying. As Fields handcuffed the other girl, he turned toward Niya and told her she was going to jail, too. Niya was arrested, taken to jail for the day, and released with criminal charges of “disturbing a school.”

Today she’s fighting back. On her behalf, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against South Carolina to challenge a law that makes “disturbing a school” a criminal offense. 

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Dan

People wonder why some of us don't trust cops. This 'boy' should not be a cop at all. They arrest children in school now, for breaking rules, what's going on?

Anonymous

what about the other students rights to receive an education , without disturbance in the class room, why did she not simply comply to the teachers request first and then the officers request . how should she have been removed from the classroom ?, when she refused to comply, so others could get an education, and if she doesn't have to comply or respect authority , then others will think , why should I listen to people in positions of leadership and authority, chaos?

Anonymous

The response was far too harsh for her "crime." The girl had just lost her mother and grandmother. People need to learn some compassion. Nobody should be picking up and throwing children, ever, no matter what the child has supposedly done.

Anonymous

The unnecessary force was not called for, POINT BLANK. No one has the right to be handled in such a manner, especially by an officer of the law...Protect and Serve is what they are trained to do, it was obvious that this officer missed his training day, which is why he was most likely placed in school, and not out doing real police work.

Anonymous

You are confused. The officer had already disturbed the class and the young lady in question here is NOT the one with the cell phone that was thrown on the floor and arrested (a different argument) but simply another student in the classroom verbally protesting the violent interaction of a policeMAN with a young girl. Might want to read the article again.

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