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Orangeburg officer fired after use-of-force investigation

SLED is also conducting an investigation but neither the state agency nor the police department is elaborating on what happened.
Credit: WLTX

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Orangeburg authorities have terminated an officer after an internal use of force investigation that now involves state agents.

Neither police nor the city elaborated on the incident but said it occurred on Monday after a 911 call to the 700 block of Colleton Street around 5:05 p.m.

Public Safety Chief Mike Adams said that the call came in as a man with a gun.

"During our response to that call, a now former officer used force on an individual," he said. "That use of force was found to be outside the scope of our use-of-force policy."

City Administrator Sidney Evering II echoed the chief's thoughts on the fired officer's actions. 

"I want to take a moment to speak to our community and just let our community know that we really place above all, we value, we value the trust that the community has placed in us as leaders and us as law enforcement officers," he said. "We cannot tolerate anything that will diminish that trust that our citizens have placed in us."

Chief Adams said he called in the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to investigate on Tuesday after reviewing video of the incident. The next day, an internal group he described as the "Use of Force Committee" also met. After this, he said the officer was terminated.

"I will tell you that this case is still under investigation. The State Law Enforcement Division is working on it, and we're hoping that this can be brought to a speedy conclusion and the incident resolved."

Adams would not say what exactly the "use of force" was, whether police ever found an armed person or identify the officer the city had just terminated days earlier, citing the ongoing SLED investigation.

Mayor Michael Butler also condemned what happened and spoke on behalf of the department as a whole during the Friday presser.

"The actions of this officer does not represent the organization and values of Orangeburg Department of Public Safety or the men and women who serve it," he said.

SLED spokesperson Tommy Crosby did confirm that that the agency has an active investigation into a former officer of the department regarding a recent use of force. However, he said no additional information would be made available while that investigation was ongoing.

News19 has requested additional information regarding the incident including the initial incident report and any video that may be tied to the case.