The Spring Valley High School video has become notorious across the world as an example of police brutality, but student Niya Kenny admits she planned on other students to be recording former South Carolina police officer Ben Fields when the incident occurred. The cop was fired, but the victim, known only as Jane Doe, has returned to school while also being about $42,000 richer due to a GoFundMe fundraiser.
In related report by the Inquisitr, Sheriff Leon Lott has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Justice Department to conduct a civil rights investigation of the Spring Valley High School video incident.
A second Spring Valley High School student, Niya Kenny, was also arrested by the former cop. The teen claims she was arrested for speaking out in support of Jane Doe; although, other reports say she was actually arrested on a misdemeanor charge for causing a disturbance. Kenny was released on a $1,000 bond to her mother, but lately she has been going on speaking tours with major media like MSNBC to criticize Ben Fields.
— Chenjerai Kumanyika (@catchatweetdown) November 1, 2015
Not everyone agrees that the fired police officer was in the wrong. Around 100 Spring Valley High School students staged a walkout while wearing t-shirts that read “Free Fields” or “#BringBackFields.” Senior London Harrell was one of these protesting students, and she wanted everyone to know that Fields has support.
“We just want to show that we’re still supporting him and everything and that he’s still a good guy, and everything and we don’t want his reputation to be ruined because of something that happened on Monday,” Harrell said.
Another student, Tony Robinson Jr., recorded one of the Spring Valley High School video recordings, and he recalls exactly what happened.
“He asked her again, ‘will you move, will you move.’ She said ‘no I have not done anything wrong.’ Then he said, ‘I’m going to treat you fairly.’ And she said ‘I don’t even know who you are.’ And that is where it started right there,” Tony explained.
Lawyers for Fields have also released a statement claiming that he acted correctly based upon the situation.
“We believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident,” their statement claimed. “To that extent, we believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were carried out professionally and that he was performing his job duties within the legal threshold.”
It turns out that the Spring Valley High School video did not happen randomly. According to The State, Niya Kenny told other students in the room to be ready to record when the school resource officer entered.
“Initially, when they said an SRO was coming – we have two – I didn’t know which one was coming,” Kenny said. “It could have been the other one. When I saw deputy Fields, that’s when I started… that’s when I told them to get the cameras out, because we know his reputation – well, I know his reputation.”
In response to what happened in the classroom, Kenny says she stood up and started protesting using very loud profanity. She claims these actions led to her arrest, although she says her actions were justified.
“One of the adults should have said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa – that’s not how you do this.’ But, instead, it had to be a student in the classroom to stand up and say, ‘This is not right,'” she said.
Lawyer Todd Rutherford started a GoFundMe fundraiser for Niya Kenny in order to provide “counseling, future educational expenses, and a car.” The fundraiser has raised over $3,000 as of this publishing, although the goal is to raise $15,000.
Rutherford also created a GoFundMe page for Jane Doe, but this one was far more successful than expected. As of this publishing, it has raised over $42,000 even though the original goal was $25,000. The lawyer also explained why he was raising the money.
“Jane Doe was the victim of police brutality. While seated in her desk, doing her math work, former Deputy Ben Fields forcibly removed her from the desk by choking her, flipping the desk over while she was still seated, and slinging her six feet across the classroom by her clothes. As a result, she suffers injuries to her ribs, back, neck, shoulder; a broken arm, and abrasions to her face. The funds raised will be put towards medical costs, educational expenses, and any other expenses she has to endure.”
According to WRAL, spokeswoman Libby Roof of Richland School District 2 says both Spring Valley High School students will be returning to school. In addition, the administrator who called the officer into the classroom is on paid leave and the school also replaced the teacher with a substitute.
— Glen Luke Flanagan (@GlenLFlanagan) October 29, 2015
[Photo via Twitter]