Spring Valley High School in South Carolina is getting a lot of attention right now, as this video of a school resource officer forcibly removing a black teenage student from her desk has been seen by millions in the past 24 hours. According to a report by WIS, Officer Ben Fields was called in to escort the girl out of class after she refused to leave.
The officer has roughly manhandled people before. The New York Daily News reported that Fields violently arrested a black veteran, Carlos Martin, in 2005.
The Spring Valley High School incident that started going viral yesterday is just another on an unfortunate list of cases where young black people are treated like objects to be tossed around - we're thinking of cases like the McKinney, Texas police officer who pinned a teenage girl in a bikini to the ground at a pool party.
Activists, journalists and actors are speaking out about the latest display of excessive force by police.
1. Roxane Gay, feminist writer
2. Bernie Sanders, Democratic presidential candidate
3. Matt McGorry, actor on Orange is the New Black
4. Gene Demby, blogger at NPR
5. Demetria Lucas D'Oyley, journalist
6. John Ross Bowie, actor on Big Bang Theory
7. LZ Granderson, sports journalist
It's great that people are being so vocal about the deeply rooted racism and misogyny that keeps incidents of police brutality the norm. I'm with Matt McGorry, the only reason for someone to be treated with that much brute force is if they are about to detonate a bomb. It is simply unacceptable to live in a culture where it is unsafe for children to go to school without suffering from serious discrimination. Talking isn't enough. There needs to be action taken by politicians to reform police training, and work toward healing this twisted, violent culture.
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