Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Prosecutors won't proceed with their case against South Carolina NAACP President Dr. Lonnie Randolph.
City prosecutors made their decision public in court Monday, just moments before Randolph's trial was set to begin. They say they did so because the business who filed the complaint against Randolph, Tripp's Cleaners, did not want to participate in the trial.
Prosecutors told the judge that they received a letter from Tripp's Friday declining to take part in the proceedings, and that once they dropped out, there was no need to continue the case, and the charges were dismissed.
"We ultimately decided that prosecution would be too hampered, too compromised, in order of us to have as good a chance as we would prefer to win," said David Fernandez, an assistant city attorney for Columbia.
Columbia police arrested Randolph last Julyon charges oftrespassing, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct after an incident at a cleaner's in Five Points.
Randolph's lawyer, Joe McCulloch,said his client had a diabetic episode that was misunderstood by store employees and responding officers. He also said that officers used excessive force whenRandolph wasn't responsive to commands.
"The realization finally dawned on the City of Columbia of what the right thing to do in this situation was," McCulloch said after Monday's proceedings.
The case was originally to have been heard in December, but was delayed.