ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) – An Atlantic Beach police officer arrested Wednesday in connection to illicit sexual activities involving minors has been terminated from the department.
According to a news release from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, 28-year-old Akiel Jamar McKnight was charged with misconduct in office, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor and criminal solicitation of a minor.
In a press release on Thursday, the Town of Atlantic Beach said: “After receiving and reviewing a thorough report from SLED, the Town of Atlantic Beach is justified in terminating Akiel Mcknight from his probationary period with our Police Department. Mcknight’s termination is effectively immediately this 3rd day of January, 2019 at approximately 2:00 p.m.”
The request for the SLED investigation was made by the Pickens Police Department, who had terminated McKnight, the release states. According to arrest warrants, McKnight was employed by Pickens police from Oct. 1, 2017 to May 15, 2018.
For about a year, McKnight communicated with minors, coercing them into providing him with sexually explicit photos and videos, the warrants state.
Jail records show McKnight was booked in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center by the U.S. Marshals around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. Before his termination, McKnight had been suspended from Atlantic Beach police without pay, Chief Quentin Robinson confirms.