A city in South Carolina has agreed to pay $650,000 to a Black man who was kicked on the head by a white police officer who was irritated that the victim couldn’t quickly fall flat on his stomach due to rods and pins in his leg.
Orangeburg officials have also apologised to Clarence Gailyard and are evaluating the police department’s use of force regulations, according to a statement provided by Gailyard’s lawyer Justin Bamberg. The amount will be covered by the city’s insurance.
On July 26, Gailyard was walking with a stick wrapped in glossy tape when someone mistaken the reflecting object for a pistol and called 911, according to investigators.
According to police body camera video, Orangeburg Public Safety Officer David Lance Dukes ordered Gailyard to the ground, and when the 58-year-old did not quickly drop, the officer stepped on his head and neck, forcing his forehead to hit the concrete of the parking lot.
Gailyard stated that he moves slowly and frequently walks with a cane because to pins and rods in his leg from being hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. He also stated that he was carrying the stick to protect himself against dog attacks.
According to the city’s statement, most cops do their difficult jobs well — a second officer sought to calm the situation and notified a supervisor who arrived later that Dukes lied about his actions — but when officers do wrong, prompt and fair action must be taken.
“When an officer fails to meet these expectations and behaves in ways unbecoming of their department and the City, that officer must and will be held accountable,” Evering said.
Dukes, 38, was fired two days after the incident and then charged with felony first-degree assault and battery. According to his attorney, the former cop is completely cooperating with state police in what he describes as a difficult and terrible circumstance.
Gailyard’s lawyer praised Orangeburg for moving promptly to assist Gailyard and reform the culture of a police department that has experienced three years of growing use-of-force cases in a town where 75 percent of the 13,000 population are Black.
The police chief resigned shortly after the event, and the temporary chief is evaluating the department’s use of force policies. According to the city, the force is also forming a council of residents to oversee how cops handle individuals.
“I’ve handled countless instances involving police aggression in the past, and rarely have I seen a city quickly acknowledge responsibility while also working to guarantee that this never happens again,” Bamberg said.
Gailyard is relieved to be able to put the incident behind him, according to Bamberg.
Gailyard spoke with media a few weeks after being injured.
“I see the scar on my forehead every time I look in the mirror, and it’s not OK.” “All I want the community to do is change,” Gailyard stated.