(AP) - The South Carolina school resource officer seen on video pulling a female high school student from her desk and dragging her across a classroom has previously been sued and accused of excessive force and targeting black suspects.
In 2013, a student expelled from Spring Valley High School, where Senior Deputy Ben Fields works, accused the deputy, who is white, of targeting black students after saying the expelled student was a gang member. That case is set to go to trial in January.
In 2010, federal court records show a jury sided with Fields after a black couple accused Fields of excessive force and battery during a 2005 noise complaint arrest in Columbia.
On Monday, Fields was seen on video pulling a black female student from her desk during class. Fields has been put on leave, and the sheriff has asked federal authorities to investigate. Authorities say race did not play a role in the incident.
In a third lawsuit, a woman who reported suspicion of child abuse accused Fields and another deputy of battery and violating her rights during a 2006 arrest. That case was dismissed in 2009.