Charleston police release disciplinary histories of officers involved in Jason Cooper’s death

Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 7:24 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - New information has been released about the law enforcement officers involved in the death of a North Charleston man last week on the peninsula.

The Charleston Police Department disclosed the disciplinary histories of Senior Police Officer Grant Mattingley and Officers John Wall, Nicholas Jones, Robert Bennett, and Ian Efstathiou on Tuesday afternoon.

All five officers have been on administrative duty since 28-year-old Jason Cooper was killed at the Bridgeview Village Apartments early in the morning of December 29, 2020. The incident is being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Mattingley, who has been with CPD for nine years, was suspended for a day in 2013 and received a written reprimand in 2015. Both actions were for failure to attend court.

Mattingley’s concise employee history file shows that there was a complaint made against him in 2019 for failure to act or intervene and another complaint in 2020 related to an improper stop, detention, or arrest, but CPD classified those allegations as unfounded.

Wall’s file lists that he was given a written reprimand in April 2020 for improper or inadequate investigation. He was later accused of improper vehicle operation related to pursuit procedures, but was reportedly exonerated by CPD.

Jones has received four complaints in his two years on the force. One allegation from 2020 involved “excessive or unreasonable force,” according to Jones’ file, but the accusation is listed as “not sustained.” Charleston Police spokesperson Charles Francis said that such a label means that “there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.”

Jones did receive verbal counseling for courtesy and customer service while Bennett’s file shows that he was exonerated in 2019 on a courtesy and customer service allegation.

Efstathiou, who has only been on the force for one year, is the only one of the five officers with no prior complaints listed in his file.

A previous statement from CPD mentioned that the officers were responding to the Bridgeview Village Apartments on December 29 because of a 911 call along with a separate call involving a “disturbance and domestic violence incident.”

The department claimed that “CPD officers were dispatched and, upon arrival, shots were exchanged between an individual and the officers. One officer was shot in the chest but sustained non-life threatening injuries as the officer was a wearing [sic] a ballistic vest.”

All five officers were assigned to Team 1 on Meeting Street. It is not yet clear who fired the shot that killed Cooper or what role each officer played in the incident.

Live 5 News requested body camera and dash camera footage from the shooting under the Freedom of Information Act, but CPD declined to release any videos at this time, claiming that it would interfere with the ongoing investigation. SLED has not yet responded to a public records request.


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