Group to consider suspending certifications for Colleton Co. sheriff, Charleston Police officer

VIDEO: Group to consider suspending certifications for Colleton Co. sheriff, Charleston Police officer

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The state organization that oversees certification for all law enforcement officers will meet Monday to discuss suspending certifications of two Lowcountry law enforcement officers facing criminal charges.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council will meet Monday morning in Columbia.

The organization will consider whether to temporarily suspend certification for Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland and Charleston Police officer Kevin Schlieben.

Strickland faces a charge of second-degree domestic violence. Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrested him on Nov. 9.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson issued a statement Friday on Strickland’s case, saying his office would lead the prosecution of the domestic violence charges and the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office would assist in that prosecution.

An affidavit states that during an argument on Nov. 7, Strickland assaulted the victim by “punching her in the face, with a closed fist, more than once, which caused moderate bodily injury.” Investigators also said the victim suffered a defensive injury to her arm while trying to protect her face.

Strickland physically took possession of the victim’s cell phones, “blocking her access to both cell phones, preventing her from reporting the incident or receiving emergency medical assistance,” the affidavit states.

Investigators say he also damaged the vehicle she attempted to flee in.

Strickland released a statement Monday stating he was placing himself on a leave of absence as members of the National Action Network called on Gov. Henry McMaster to remove him from office. But according to state law, the governor does not have the authority to remove a sheriff from office before an indictment occurs.

SLED agents arrested Schlieben on Nov. 8 a charge of third-degree assault and battery. The charge followed a review of body cam footage of the July 1 arrest of Rashad Robinson. Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said Schlieben was shown on camera hitting Robinson after Robinson was arrested and in handcuffs.

Reynolds said SLED has been asked to determine if the officer committed a crime.

The group is also expected to decide whether to permanently revoke the certification of a former Goose Creek officer who was accused of lying to a judge while under oath about a traffic stop.

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