A white deputy who slammed a black South Carolina high school student to the ground during a classroom arrest became the focus of a federal probe on Tuesday, as civil rights groups called for him to be fired and charged with assault.

Officer Ben Fields, 34, was suspended without pay after videos filmed by students showed him flipping a 16-year-old girl out of her chair and dragging her across a classroom for refusing a teacher’s demand to put away her cell phone.

The arrest at Spring Valley High School in Columbia on Monday drew swift condemnation on social media after the footage went viral and raised concerns over whether the use of police in schools can criminalize behavior once handled by educators.


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