South Carolina

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has fired Senior Deputy Ben Fields over the white deputy's violent arrest of a black student at a South Carolina high school, which was filmed by several students. Lott said Fields broke department policy in the arrest.

"It's not what I expect from my deputies, and it's not what I tolerate from my deputies," Lott said.

The sheriff said he's glad students documented the arrest with videos, which he said were helpful in reviewing the case.

We've updated our earlier post with the news.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Updated 2:32 p.m. ET

Authorities are investigating a classroom incident between a white sheriff's deputy and a black high school student in Columbia, S.C., in which video shows the deputy, a school resource officer, flipping the female student's desk backward and dragging her to the ground.

In hopes that it can persuade Congress to drop its prohibition on transferring detainees in Guantanamo to American soil, the White House is hunting for a highly secure place in the U.S. for some 50 detainees. Labeled as "enemy combatants," they've been held for more than a decade without trial in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at a camp President Obama has promised to close.

Unlike the 52 other captives at Guantanamo whose release can occur as soon as a country is found to take them, these detainees are considered too dangerous to release at all. They're known as "unreleasables."

Sen. Bernie Sanders drew big crowds again this weekend, but they may not be the right kind of crowd if he hopes to win South Carolina's primary. The Independent senator from Vermont is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, and he'll need black voters to win in the early-voting state.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

During an emotional ceremony and amid popular cheers, the Confederate battle flag was brought down from a 30-foot flagpole that sits on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.

The historic ceremony marked the end of an era and was conducted by South Carolina state troopers, who marched in formation in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds.

Slowly, the troopers cranked the flag down from the pole, folded it, rolled it up and marched out.

The crowd chanted, "USA! USA! USA!"

In a public signing ceremony staged in the lobby of the Statehouse where slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney once worked in the state Senate, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from a flagpole on the Capitol grounds.

Thursday afternoon's event drew an extensive list of South Carolina's political establishment, including former Govs. Jim Hodges, David Beasley and Dick Riley — as well as the families of Pinckney and the eight other shooting victims who were attacked in a black church in Charleston last month.

The Confederate battle flag that has flown in a prominent spot at South Carolina's Statehouse for more than 50 years is close to being furled and put in a museum, after the state's House of Representatives backed a bill early this morning that would put the flag in a relic room.

After more than 12 hours of debate, the final vote was 94-20.

Gov. Nikki Haley, who is expected to sign the measure into law today, called it "a new day in South Carolina."

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Thursday: Final Vote

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