Coroner posts controversial Facebook post on deputy-involved shooting

Published: Aug. 11, 2015 at 10:19 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2015 at 11:09 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Dorchester County Coroner posted what some may consider a controversial comment Monday night following the identification of a suspect in a police-involved shooting.

Coroner Chris Nisbet identified Shamir Palmer, 24, of Ridgeville, as the man killed in the police involved shooting Saturday in Summerville.

He ruled Palmer's death as "suicide by cop", based upon his determination of previous shots fired by Palmer at law enforcement and the raising of a deadly weapon at sheriff's deputies after his vehicle finally stalled out due to multiple collision during the attempted traffic stop/chase.

Nisbet also said Palmer has made a statement to a friend that he was not going back to prison, period.

Following the release of the manner of Palmer's death (suicide), Nisbet then posted about the ruling on his personal Facebook page saying, "Making my stand public. These kind of actions by known thugs have to be controlled to protect society. Do Not Blame law enforcement officers for their actions, blame me for my ruling of it. I would love to debate this issue."

A family member of Palmer's commented on the post, saying, "I do not debate your standing Chris, you definitely have a tough job. I do disagree with the name calling "thug."

Nisbet responded to the comment with condolences and then suggested looking up the definition of "thug".

"He has the right to say whatever he'd like in his private life," David Aylor, an attorney for David Aylor Law Firm, said. "However, with something like this and the outcry from the public with wanting to know all the facts, it does seem a little concerning that it would come out so quickly from a man who made that decision."

"Any violent person can be considered a thug," Nisbet said on the phone Tuesday. He said that's per Merriam Webster's definition. "It's regardless of race."

"I think it's someone's personal perspective of what the term means," Aylor said. "Sometimes you do see it viewed differently."

"Thug" was removed from the post Tuesday, according to Nisbet, out of respect for the family.

Nisbet went on to say he's tired of somebody getting killed, and it becoming a racial issue.

"I deal with more black on black crime in the county, then any other," Nisbet said. "These kinds of actions need to get under control."

He added respect among all races has fallen by the wayside these days.

"You can't teach someone to care about someone," Nisbet said. "It's all a lack of upbringing. Parents need to step up."

So far there have been 13 homicides declared in Dorchester County in 2015. There were a total of ten in 2014.

A spokesperson for Dorchester County says there's no social media policy in place for its employees and staff.

The coroner is an elected official and reports to the people.
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