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Raven-Symoné Defends Officer in Spring Valley High Incident: ‘You’ve Got to Follow the Rules in School’

The View co-host Raven-Symoné defended South Carolina deputy Ben Fields for his actions in a widely-viewed video in which the officer appeared to slam a student down to the ground and drag her out of a classroom at Spring Valley High School on Monday.

Fields, a high school resource officer, was reportedly called into a classroom at the high school when a student would not comply with several orders to stop using her cell phone. Video taken of the incident, which has since gone viral, shows Fields forcibly removing the student from the classroom. Another video of the incident reportedly appears to show the student hitting the officer before he takes action.

Symoné said that while Fields bears some responsibility for the incident, the student should be held accountable for initiating it.

“The girl was told multiple times to get off her phone,” Symoné said on Tuesday’s episode of the ABC talker, adding: “There was no reason for him to be doing this type of harm… but at the same time you’ve got to follow the rules in school.”

Symoné did not let the deputy off the hook, citing alleged excessive force and false arrest lawsuits filed against him in 2007.

“He has a record and he’s still hired, but at the same time, get off your phone!” Symoné said. “You’re in school, get off your phone! What are you doing on Instagram?”

Fields was fired on Wednesday for his role in the incident, according to CNN. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told the outlet that while he “wanted to throw up” after watching footage of the incident, the student was also partly to blame.

“When a classroom is disrupted by a student, that disrupts the education process and the students can’t learn and the teachers can’t teach,” Lott told CNN, adding: “We must not lose sight that this whole incident was started by this student,” he said. “She is responsible for initiating this action. Some responsibility falls on her.”

Some social media users voiced their displeasure with the talk show host’s comments on social media following the segment, including NBA player Isaiah Thomas:

Check out the video of the segment above (begins at around the 3:00 mark)

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