COLUMBIA, South Carolina –
According to a statement released by the Columbia, SC police department, Officer Ben Fields, the officer who drew national attention for a viral video that showed him slamming a female African-American teen to the floor in a classroom dispute, has been commended and rewarded with a promotion for his “keen use” of police and law enforcement skills in a difficult situation.
“The Columbia Police Department is pleased to offer our congratulations to officer Ben Fields, who resisted the obvious temptation of using his service revolver in what would have been the ideal situation, and instead defused a situation non-violently,” said Police Chief Rick Stuart. “We are extremely happy to announce that officer Fields has been promoted to a new position within the department, so we’d like to congratulate deputy detective Ben Fields.”
Officer Fields was initially put on leave after the altercation went viral, but investigation by police into the incident and the video proved that Fields was in the clear.
“Officer Fields could have rightly chose to use deadly force against this black student, as she was causing problems in class, and had been told to leave,” said Stuart. “Although easily justified if Fields has pulled his weapon, he chose to end the manner in a non-violent way, and was able to not only clear the classroom of any further disruption, he did it with no injuries to himself or any fellow law enforcement. It was the perfect arrest, and we are extremely proud of our officer’s actions.”