Civil Liberties

Video Evidence Helps Get South Carolina Deputy Fired For an Off-Duty Arrest Attempt


Interesting story about how citizen video can help in getting justice when cops get out of line, out of Columbia South Carolina.

As reported by WISTV 10, a local TV station:

On October 7 at Buffalo Wild Wings on Devine Street, Derrick, 49, approached 23-year-old Brittany Ball, a female soldier at Fort Jackson, in an apparent attempt to calm her down after she became emotional.

But it's not clear why Derrick thought it was necessary to go out to his truck get his handcuffs, gun and badge and return to the bar, where he handcuffed her and began shouting at her.

WIS first heard last week that video of the incident existed and that it was likely going to be a serious problem for Derrick.

On Tuesday, WIS learned that Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott decided to fire Derrick, apparently for violating department policy in handcuffing and detaining Ball….

"It made me angry, and then it made me sick and disgusted that any law enforcement officer would act that way, particularly a Richland County deputy," Lott said Wednesday during a news conference. "There's absolutely no excuse for his behavior and what he did that night. He interjected himself into something that he should of never gotten involved in."

Citizen video for the win:

The video, showing Derrick shouting at Ball as he yanked and twisted the handcuff chains, sparked outrage from many who saw it.

It also played a role in a decision by Columbia police arriving at the scene to order Ball released while they took Derrick into custody, charging him with assault and battery.

Sheriff Lott may be disgusted now, but he wasn't at the start:

Last week, Lott disagreed with the police action, saying Derrick had authority to make an arrest and suggesting Ball may have been resisting.

Police State USA reports allegations that the off-duty deputy's interactions with Ball began with an attempt to pick her up, but those allegations are not specifically sourced.

The citizen video in question:

See Jess Remington here on Hit and Run earlier this week on why it's a good idea for cops to wear cameras recording what they do at all times. Maybe we need to apply that to off-duty cops as well.