Former N. Charleston police officer found not guilty of assaulting suspect

Former N. Charleston police officer found not guilty of assaulting suspect

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A former North Charleston police officer was found not guilty of assaulting a suspect.

Car camera video captured the Nov. 15, 2016 incident between former officer Leroy Hair and the suspect James Terry.

Hair was found not guilty after a bench trial Thursday afternoon, according to his attorney Eddie Phipps.

The video showed Terry kicking an officer moments before Hair pulled him into a cruiser.

He was arrested by State Law Enforcement Division agents in February.

Hair would have faced up to 30 days in jail if the judge convicted him of misdemeanor assault.

November 2016 Traffic Stop 

According to an incident report, police saw Terry's vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Nov. 15, 2016.

The driver exited the vehicle and attempted to enter a convenience store with police ordering him to get down on the ground, a police report states.

According to investigators, Terry then started walking in the opposite direction towards Rivers Avenue as the officer called for backup.

Police say the officer then took Terry to the ground and attempted to detain him, at which point Terry became combative.

The report states Terry began pulling his arms away and kicking at the officer, also screaming and shouting obscenities.

After backup units arrived and assisted in getting Terry into custody, police say he tried to grab an officer's duty belt while he was handcuffed.

At that point, police say they used leg shackles on him and place him in the rear of a patrol vehicle. Police say while in the rear of the vehicle, Terry began trying to kick the door and back window of the patrol vehicle and continued to kick the patrol vehicle, shout obscenities and spit on an officer through the cage from the rear of the car.

One officer said Terry kicked and grabbed clothing, grabbed an officer's arm, grabbed officers by their equipment on utility belts. One of the officers said he had to strike Terry several times to the outside of his upper right arm when Terry grabbed his radio mic cord and began pulling on it.

The incident was captured on officers' body-worn cameras and by one of the patrol vehicles, the report states.

Another officer at the scene interviewed the female passenger who claimed Terry was under the influence of something but did not know what, the report states. She told police she attempted to exit the vehicle because she was afraid of him, the report states.

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