Lawsuit: Police cuffed, detained Orangeburg couple in middle of night without warrants

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 11:02 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - An Orangeburg couple is filing lawsuits against two towns accusing them of violating their rights almost two years ago.

At a Wednesday morning news conference, attorney Justin Bamberg said his client, Shane Glover, is suing the towns of Holly Hill and Santee for an August 2020 incident in which police handcuffed and detained Glover and his girlfriend using force in the middle of the night at their own home. The incident began, they claim, after a police officer took a personal disagreement to the next level.

Bamberg says the officers violated their jurisdiction and in doing so, they violated his clients’ civil rights. Bamberg says Glover wanted to have a personal discussion with Holly Hill Police officer Jermaine Smith about Smith interfering in his relationship with his girlfriend. Glover approached Smith while Smith was on duty in his cruiser with a 911 operator on the line to have that conversation, but Smith drove off.

Bamberg says Smith showed up the next night with other Holly Hill and Santee officers in tow at the couple’s home in the middle of the night.

Bodycam and dashcam video shows officers handcuffing them and detaining them with an AR-15 drawn. Bamberg says this is all without an official warrant or ever going to a judge.

On the video, when Glover asks why he is handcuffed and detained, asking “What would you like to know about me, sir?” an officer responds, “I wanted to know if you had puppies.”

In the video, the group does continue to discuss Glover attempting to approach Smith the day before.

Court documents state Smith said he was serving Glover for threatening a public employee, referring to Glover approaching his cruiser the day before. Bamberg says the officers’ actions were not within their job.

“No one has said anything about a warrant yet, because they knew they did not have one. Regular men wearing a police costume and acting under the color of state law to do things that they knew they couldn’t do, but citizens, they don’t know about jurisdiction,” Bamberg said.

Holly Hill Police confirmed that Smith no longer works for the department, and neither does Jacob Bolen, another officer present at the incident.

The agency released a statement on the case:

It’s a shame that someone like Justin Bamberg can grandstand and twist facts.  We look forward to the truth coming out in the court process.

The Town of Santee and the Santee Police Department did not reply to a request for comment.

Bamberg said there is not a specific monetary value the couple is asking for in the lawsuit, but he believes they will get compensation.

“This is about transparency and trust building and fixing this institution so people like me can stop standing up here talking about these terrible things that happen,” Bamberg said.

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