The South Carolina school resource officer whose videotaped dragging of a Spring Valley High School student from her desk went viral on Monday was previously sued for racial profiling and excessive use of force, Heavy.com reports.
According to the site, Ben Fields, the officer in question, has a pending federal lawsuit against him after an incident in 2013, in which he accused a black student of being a member of a gang involved in a fight near the high school. According to the lawsuit, the student in question, Ashton James Reese, was expelled as a result of Fields' allegations. The suit claims that Fields “unfairly and recklessly targets African-American students with allegations of gang membership and criminal gang activity."
The case is set to go to trial in January next year.
In a separate lawsuit from 2007, which was decided in his favor, Fields was accused of using excessive force to arrest Carlos and Tashiana Martin in a Columbia, S.C., parking lot.
"I recognized him on the spot. I remembered how big he was," Martin told the Daily News after seeing the Spring Valley High video.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department previously said they could not immediately confirm whether or not Fields had been reprimanded for using excessive force.