A Black man was forced to lie down on the ground after being stopped by South Carolina police in July. An officer kicked his head on the back of his head after he didn’t do so quickly because he had metal pins and rods in his leg.
Clarence Gailyard (58), will now receive $650,000 from Orangeburg, S.C. The city announced Wednesday.
Body camera footageOfficer David Lance Dukes stopped Mr. Gailyard on July 26. Officer David Lance Dukes points a gun at Mr. Gailyard as he is kneeling.
In the video, Mr. Dukes, who was later fired, yells, “Get on the ground!” He then stomps on Mr. Gailyard, causing his forehead to hit the ground.
Mr. Gailyard suffered a head injury. He was stopped by the police that day after “an erroneous 911 call placed stating someone out there had a gun,” his lawyer, Justin Bamberg, said.
Mr. Gailyard, who was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle a few decades ago, had rods, pins, and other injuries in his body. Mr. Bamberg said Mr. Gailyard was holding an old piece of wood wrapped with duct tape. This was what he used to keep dogs away from him when he was walking.
In a statement on Wednesday, the city said that in addition to an apology, Mr. Gailyard would receive the compensation paid by the city’s insurance carrier. City officials said that the city would also establish a citizens’ task force to “provide oversight and guidance with regard to interactions” between residents and the Orangeburg police.
Sidney Evering, the Orangeburg city administrator, said in a statement that the “vast majority” of the city’s police officers “do their jobs with honor and ensure that the citizens they are entrusted to protect and serve are treated fairly and with respect.”
He added: “However, when an officer falls short of these expectations and conducts themselves in ways unbecoming to their department and the city, that officer must and will be held accountable. That’s exactly what we have done in this instance.”
After an investigation into the incident, Mr. Dukes was fired and was charged with first degree assault and battery. His lawyer and Orangeburg Department of Public Safety were unable to respond to our requests for comment Wednesday night.
In August, Mr. Gailyard stated that he was still experiencing pain at a news conference. “Every time I look in the mirror and see the scar on my face, it is not OK,” he said.
In a statement to the city on Wednesday, Mr. Bamberg said that Mr. Gailyard was “pleased to put this very troubling incident behind him.”
“We appreciate how quickly Orangeburg city leadership moved to make this right by Mr. Gailyard,” Mr. Bamberg said. “I’ve handled numerous cases involving police violence previously, and rarely have I seen a city swiftly accept responsibility and also work to ensure that this never happens to another person.”
Mr. Bamberg said he gave credit to Aqkwele Polidore, a sergeant who was at the scene in July, “who refused to cover for a co-worker.”
“This incident should give all good officers around the country a positive sign that it is OK to take a stand against police brutality in your agencies,” Mr. Bamberg said. “Amazing things can happen when dedicated law enforcement officers choose what’s right over what’s ‘blue.’”
Mr. Bamberg also credited the city of Orangeburg for “changing its police department for the betterment of both its own officers and the citizens it serves.”
“This is what progress looks like,” he said.
Source: NY Times