COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – A federal judge has thrown out a complaint filed against former Richland County school resource officer Ben Fields by a student who claimed he was unfairly identified as a gang member.
Ashton James Reese sued Fields and Richland Two officials after the district expelled Reese and three other Spring Valley High School students about two years ago.
Authorities had linked the students in the wake of what Fields called a “gang fight” near a Walmart in northeast Richland County.
On Thursday, federal Judge Mary Lewis dismissed the federal case against Fields and district officials. Her order found no evidence Reese’s substantive and due process rights had been violated.
Reese’s attorney Reggie Lloyd says the complaint, which was originally field at the state level, will now revert back to the state civil court system.
The Reese case was cited several times in news accounts after Fields became the subject of nationwide attention for his actions in subduing a female Spring Valley High student in late October.
Fields was fired by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott as that controversy escalated.