The family of a teenager who was shot by North Charleston Police in 2012 filed an excessive force suit against the department.
The civil lawsuit is based on a March 25, 2012, police-involved shooting that left then-17 year old Carlton Pringle wounded. A security camera at a nearby business captured the shooting. North Charleston Police have maintained Pringle pointed a gun at the officer and was then shot.
The suit, filed by Pringle and his parents, Carlton Pringle, Sr., and Dominique Chisholm, names a North Charleston Police officer, Police Chief Eddie Driggers, the NCPD and the city of North Charleston as defendants and seeks damages for improper search and seizure, excessive force and depriving Pringle and his family of the right of due process. It further accuses Driggers and the NCPD of deliberate indifference and negligence and gross negligence, documents show.
Court documents state Pringle was walking with a friend on or near Gaynor Avenue where North Charleston Police were already investigating at least one 911 call of possible shots fired in the Ferndale neighborhood. The case alleges the officer, upon "merely seeing 'two black males'" he had passed while investigating the 911 call, spun his car around and sped up to where Pringle and his friend were walking. Court documents claim the two were walking away from the area where the gunshots had been reported, but North Charleston Police previously stated the two changed the direction they were walking when they saw the approaching police car.
Immediately upon stopping the car, the lawsuit alleges, the officer jumped out of his police car and started yelling threats, then, "without an articulable suspicion or probable cause," came "charging" at the two. As the pair immediately began "to run for their lives," according to court documents, the officer fired his Taser at Pringle but missed. It adds that the officer then pulled out his semi-automatic handgun and shot Pringle in the back as he was running away.
The suit accuses the officer of running up to the wounded teenager who was lying on the ground, and, while "quite literally hovering over" Pringle, firing another seven shots, striking Pringle with at least six of those bullets.
The suit also addresses the surveillance video, stating that despite the officer's claims that Pringle pointed a gun at him prior to the shooting, it "clearly shows [Pringle] never pointed anything at anyone."
Court documents also accuse the officer of changing his story about what happened, claiming that he initially told his fellow officers that Pringle had pointed a gun at him, but then later, in a taped video deposition provided to the State Law Enforcement Division, which investigates officer-involved shootings, allegedly made no mention of Pringle "pointing" a gun at anyone and said he "doesn't remember shooting" Pringle.
It also accuses the NCPD and the City of North Charleston of being "deliberately indifferent" to the "clear and obvious inconsistencies and changed stories," which "fostered an environment where improper and unconstitutional conduct was condoned, tolerated and/or emboldened" by Driggers and other "policymaking authorities within NCPD and the City."
The family wants a jury to decide what damages should be awarded, documents stated.
North Charleston Police
during which they said investigators recovered a Highpoint 9 mm handgun from the scene of the shooting.
Live 5 News has reached out to the City of North Charleston and the NCPD for statements about the lawsuit.