A South Carolina sheriff said Tuesday that there is a third video depicting one of his officers in a now viral confrontation with a high school student — and in it, he says the student can be seen attacking the officer.
“There’s a video … showed her striking and punching at the officer,” Richard County Sheriff Leon Lott told CNN. “Again, our hope would have been that he could have de-escalated the situation without getting physical.”
Lott said the video was not in his possession when asked by host Jake Tapper if it would be released to the public.
“It’s not one I have, it’s another student in the class, was shooting it from a different angle,” he said. “It shows the officer as he puts his hands on her, her punching him. But again, that doesn’t justify some of the actions.”
Resource officer Ben Fields was put under investigation by his department Monday after video captured him aggressively confront a student who “refused” to cooperate when told she was under arrest.
Video captured him inform the student that she would either “come with me or I’m going to make you.” Moments later, the officer can be seen lifting the student up, pushing her desk backward, then seemingly tossing her a few feet away.
Lott said Tuesday he does not believe race played a role in the incident, but noted he was disturbed by it. After the video sparked national controversy, the Justice Department announced it would open up an investigation into the incident.
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