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Sheriff Leon Lott announced Wednesday afternoon that Richland County Senior Deputy Ben Fields was fired.

Lott said that while he “takes responsibility” for the action of his officer, the student should bear the responsibility for her actions and for disrupting the classroom setting in the first place. Lott continued to say that despite her disruptiveness, her actions did not warrant Fields’ behavior.

“We must not lose sight that this whole incident started by this student. Some responsibility falls on her,” Lott said.

“I can tell you what he should not have done. He should not have thrown the student,” Lott said. “He was not trained to throw a student.”

According to Lott, who did speak to Fields personally, he did not intend for the situation to escalate how it did.

“He tried to do his job,” he said.

Lott said he’s received complaints about Fields in the past but not from the school.

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