BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division say they are investigating the Hanahan Police Department for their traffic stop on Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt.
DeWitt was arrested by the South Carolina Highway Patrol on Dec. 28 following a hit-and-run in Berkeley County where authorities say DeWitt nearly lost control of his truck several times and sped away at speeds of 100 mph.
"This thoroughness is part of any high profile investigation," said Hanahan Police Chief Mike Cochran on Thursday night regarding the news that SLED was investigating his department."Though I would expect nothing less."
Officers with the Hanahan Police Department were the initial law enforcement units who made contact and stopped DeWitt. A SC Highway trooper then responded and arrested DeWitt who was then transported to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.
DeWitt was charged with drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident involving another vehicle, but was not charged with failure to stop for blue lights; last week a protest was held outside the Hanahan Police Department calling on the department to charge DeWitt for failing to stop for blue lights.
SLED officials told Live 5 News that they are investigating the Hanahan Police Department in connection to the traffic stop, but did not release details on the investigation.
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she requested SLED to investigate the traffic stop and expects to have the results of the investigation in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Wilson released the following statement Thursday night:
"As a lawyer and prosecutor, I am subject to special rules which limit my ability to make public comments about pending investigations. I can only confirm that on January 9, I requested a SLED investigation into the December 28 traffic stop of Sheriff Dewitt and to concerns that developed after my review of the case. SLED has been extremely responsive and we have been in contact often over the past two weeks. I expect to have the final results of their investigation within the next 2 to 3 weeks."
In addition, late Thursday night the Hanahan Police Department released the following statement regarding SLED's investigation.
"The case involving Wayne DeWitt, Sheriff of Berkeley County, has been the source of many questions. Since the onset of this case, the Hanahan Police Department has been working with the relevant state authorities in order to ensure that the case is handled in a fashion that will ensure that justice is served.
Very early in the case, Chief Cochran met with Ninth Circuit Solicitor, Scarlett A. Wilson, to request her assistance with potential charges. Shortly thereafter, SLED was asked to follow up on the details of the case. SLED has been very responsive and is doing their due diligence in this matter.
All this is an ongoing investigation, no further public comment will be made by HPD. Chief Cochran believes that having the chief prosecutor, the SCHP and SLED involved will ensure the case is handled appropriately and in accordance with the laws of South Carolina.
The public's interest in this case is understandable. At the conclusion of the case, a time-line will be released so that it will be clear to all concerned how the case evolved and why it was handled in the fashion that it was."