Lawsuit accuses North Charleston Police and former chief of excessive force

VIDEO: Lawsuit accuses North Charleston Police and former chief of excessive force

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County man is suing a North Charleston Police officer, the department and its former chief for excessive use of force.

North Charleston Police officers arrested Arkein Campbell of Charleston County in the early morning hours of January 9, 2018. They charged him with failure to stop, marijuana possession and unlawfully carrying a pistol.

According to the lawsuit filed Dec. 18, 2019, officers pulled Campbell from his car, took him to the ground and handcuffed him. While he was on the ground, North Charleston Police Officer Katelyn Arnold pulled out her Taser and stunned Campbell.

The lawsuit states, Campbell believed he was being tortured because he’d already surrendered and wasn’t resisting arrest. The lawsuit claims Officer Arnold continued to use her Taser while other officers were on the scene. Campbell claims he was injured by the use of the Taser.

Tasers use a 50 thousand volt electric shock to subdue a person. According to the lawsuit, North Charleston Police started issuing them to officers in 2005 but has “inconsistent and undefined standards” when it comes to the use of a Taser. The lawsuit goes on to say the “failure to properly train or supervise” officers using them shows “reckless indifference” by the department and former Chief Eddie Driggers.

The lawsuit claims a 2011 report on the department’s use of Tasers recommended increased training and updated policies on the use of force, including Tasers. The policy was in effect when Eddie Driggers took over as Chief in 2012 and the use of Tasers by officers remained high.

The lawsuit claims North Charleston Police officers used Tasers 825 times from 2010 to 2014. During the same time period, the police department in a comparable Texas city used Tasers only 65 times.

Campbell is seeking damages against Officer Arnold, Chief Driggers, the Police Department and the city of North Charleston in an amount to be determined by a jury.

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