Video shows former Charleston Co. jail deputy pushing man onto hard floor

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 2:23 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 7:20 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Newly released video shows the moment that a Charleston County jail deputy pushed a man in custody onto the floor, reportedly causing him to hit his head and lose consciousness.

In response to a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance footage from Oct. 18, 2020 of Aaron Renaud forcibly moving the unidentified man from the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center’s search room to another room, where Renaud pushed him onto the hard floor.

Renaud then closed the door, all while other detention deputies looked on.

Roughly a month and a half later, in a separate incident inside the detention center, Renaud allegedly “willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously threw [a] juvenile victim against the wall, railing, and floor of the elevator, while the victim was handcuffed and unable to brace or adequately protect himself, causing injury to the victim,” an affidavit said.

In January, Renaud, who served with the Special Operations Group during part of his tenure, was fired by the sheriff’s office.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division charged Renaud with two counts of second degree assault and battery in September in connection with these two cases. The division subsequently denied a public records request that sought video footage of the two 2020 incidents to be released.

Renaud’s personnel records show that this is not the first time that accusations have been made against him.

In October 2018, he was accused of sending an “inexcusable” and “inappropriate” text message to colleagues and was suspended for two days without pay.

During his first shift back from work following his suspension, Renaud was accused of ignoring his supervisor and conducting a strip search on an inmate. He was then suspended without pay for another three days, with Sergeant M. Last writing in part that Renaud’s actions “will not be tolerated at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center.”

Then, in December 2018, Renaud was fired by the sheriff’s office after an internal investigation reportedly found that he submitted overtime forms to get paid for 37 hours that he had not worked.

However, Al Cannon, the Charleston County Sheriff at the time, “ultimately overturned [his] termination and converted the discipline into a suspension” that was implemented retroactively to cover the time between his firing and reinstatement, according to an internal memo.

Renaud returned to work and less than three years later, he would be booked on two assault and battery charges in the same detention center where he used to be employed. Renaud is currently out of jail on bond.

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