Less than a month before South Carolina became an open carry state, a cop stomped on a disabled man’s head for not complying fast enough after claiming he saw him holding a gun.
But the gun turned out to be a stick. And the cop, Orangeburg police officer David Dukes, ended up fired and charged with first degree assault and battery five days after the incident which took place on July 26.
On Wednesday, his lawyer announced they have agreed to a $650,000 settlement, according to the Times and Democrat.
The 58-year-old victim, Clarence Gailyard, was slow to comply with his orders because he has pins and rods in his knee, leg and hip from a previous accident.
Gailyard said he uses the stick to ward off stray dogs when he is walking through the neighborhood as he was doing with his cousin that day when somebody called police about a man with a gun.
But he placed the stick beneath a parked car when Dukes pulled up to the scene with his gun drawn, yelling at both men to lay on the ground.
Gailyard’s cousin, Demario Julian, quickly complied but Gailyard moved a little slower because of his disability, sending the cop into a rage.
Gailyard was on his hands and knees when Dukes smashed his boot on his head into the pavement.
He then handcuffed and searched him before walking behind the car to find the gun he was sure was there, only to find the stick beneath the car.
The video shows him trying to explain his actions to the other cops but they didn’t seem too impressed.
He was fired and charged on July 31, five days after the incident.
The new open carry law went into effect on August 15 and local media interviewed a South Carolina sheriff who said his deputies would no longer be responding to “man with a gun” calls.
“When you get that call that somebody’s walking down the road or parking lot or something openly carrying a firearm, that’s not a crime. That’s not a crime,” Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan told WIS-TV.
“We’re not going to investigate something that’s not a crime.”
The city of Orangburg said it would review its use of force polices and procedures as well as establish a “citizen’s task force” to ensure better accountability.
Gailyard’s attorney, Justin Bamberg, who has been a state representative since 2014, was pleased with the outcome.
“I’ve handled numerous cases involving police violence previously and rarely have I seen a city swiftly accept responsibility and also work to ensure that this never happens to another person,” Bamberg told local media.