Lawsuit claims Dorchester Co. deputy slammed man to the ground

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 2:39 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 8:10 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) – A Dorchester County sheriff’s deputy is now facing a lawsuit accusing him of slamming a man to the ground earlier this year.

The suit filed Wednesday alleges Deputy Brandon Smith slammed Jamel Floyd to the ground after Floyd refused to get in the deputy’s squad car on April 16. It accuses Smith of a civil rights violation as well as gross negligence, recklessness, false imprisonment and other offenses.

Floyd was reportedly walking home on English Road in the Flower Town Village neighborhood when Smith approached him and told him to get in the squad car.

When Floyd refused, Smith said he had three seconds to comply, and when Floyd did not, Smith began yelling expletives at him before grabbing him in the neck area and slamming him to the ground, according to the complaint.

Ultimately, Smith let Floyd go home.

Floyd’s attorney Jerry Meehan said he has seen the body-worn camera footage of what he characterized as an unprovoked incident, and to him, it’s not just an issue of race – since Floyd is Black and Smith is white -- but also one of mental health since his client has autism.

“The cop basically lost his temper, and then after he body slammed Jamel – and while he’s body slamming Jamel, Jamel has his hands like this, saying, ‘Stop, stop,’” Meehan said, raising his arms. “It gives you chill bumps to watch how horrific the video is.”

He added Smith’s actions were “egregious” and warrant being removed from uniform.

“The temperament he exhibits in this video is not protecting and serv(ing). It’s the opposite of that.”

In a statement, the sheriff’s office said as of 5 p.m. Wednesday it had not been served in the case.

“Regardless, the Sheriff nor the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office will issue any statement concerning pending litigation,” Lt. Rick Carson said.

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