CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston man received a payout from the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund after a lawsuit for what he calls a wrongful arrest.
The lawsuit stems from an incident more than four years ago involving the Charleston Police Department.
A man named Edward Alexander, who has a concealed weapons permit, was arrested and jailed after pulling his weapon to try to break up a fight between a man and a woman.
The date was Dec. 7, 2016. The lawsuit shows that Alexander was walking his dogs around 9 p.m. that night. He had his gun, but did not have the concealed weapons permit with him. He heard shouting and found a man and a woman in a heated confrontation happening in front of some children.
According to the lawsuit, Alexander then yelled at the couple to stop arguing in front of the children. The man involved in the argument went to a car and took out what appeared to be a tire iron and threatened to kill Alexander, according to the lawsuit.
That’s when Alexander pulled out his gun and told the man to back off. Alexander says he walked away and started heading for his house. But the man spotted a police cruiser and told the officer that someone had pulled a gun on him. That officer was Jamal Medlin.
According to the lawsuit, “Alexander walked out of the dark with his hands raised and stood beneath a streetlight in order that Officer Medlin would have a clear view of him.”
Alexander says he identified himself and told the officer he had a weapon, and that he had a permit to carry it.
But because he did not have the permit with him, the lawsuit states the officer called for backup and Alexander was arrested and taken to jail. He was charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun and pointing and presenting a firearm. He was booked and processed at the Al Cannon Detention Center.
Attorneys for Alexander say if officers had allowed their client to go to his home, or if they simply ran a search of the police online database, they would have known that Alexander did indeed have a concealed weapons permit, and the arrest could have been avoided.
Charges were dropped and his record expunged. Alexander was paid $2000 in the case from the state IRF.