A police officer stomped on a Black man while investigating a 911 call, which has since resulted in a $650,000 settlement.
In July, an Orangeburg, South Carolina man was stopped and asked to lie on the ground. Due to metal pins and rods in his hips and legs, he was unable to do so immediately. The officer, David Lance Dukes pointed a gun at the man, Clarence Gailyard, 58, who was on his hands and knees, yelling, “Get on the ground!” When he didn’t do so right away, the Dukes stomped him to the ground, causing Gailyard’s forehead to hit the ground.
Sergeant Aqkwele Polidore, who was also at the scene, did not allow the incident to be ignored, instead standing against the brutality. Dukes was fired soon after, and later charged with first degree assault and battery.
The two showed up at the scene after a wrongful 911 call claiming someone was holding a gun. Gailyard was on a walk, and was holding a stick wrapped in duct tape, which he uses to shoo dogs away from him. While riding a bike a few years ago, Gailyard was hit by a car, which prompted the need for the pins and rods.
Gailyard’s lawyer, Justin Bamberg, praised Orangeburg for its swift action, acceptance of responsibility, and vow to do better. Orangeburg authorities promised to implement a citizens’ task force with the goal of “provid[ing] oversight and guidance with regard to interactions” between residents and the Orangeburg police”.
The “vast majority” of the city’s officers “do their jobs with honor and ensure that the citizens they are entrusted to protect and serve are treated fairly and with respect,” the city administrator, Sidney Evering, claimed. “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.”
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NY DAILY NEWS
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