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South Carolina On Pace To Set Record For Officer-Involved Shootings In 2020



In the last month, South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents have investigated eight officer-involved shootings in Richland, Aiken, Darlington, Spartanburg, Horry, Laurens, and Marion counties.

The rash in police shootings comes after SLED reported five officer-involved shootings in just two weeks, FITSNews founding editor Will Folks reported in September.

SLED has reported 40 total officer-involved shootings in 2020 — which puts the state on a record breaking pace.

On Sunday morning, “a shot was fired during fired during a confrontation between a man and deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office,” SLED reported Monday.

No one was shot in the Marion County incident that happened after the suspect fled when they were being pulled over for a traffic ticket, according to the news release.

The suspect, who was not identified by SLED, was taken into custody and was treated at a local hospital with minor injuries.

SLED did not say what the injuries were from. No other injuries were reported in the incident.

Police have released very few details in the incident.

It is standard procedure for SLED to investigate any shooting incident involving law enforcement.

During the investigation, SLED officers interview all potential witnesses, collect relevant evidence, and test evidence for forensics.

Legislation aimed at formalizing SLED’s statewide role in investigating officer-involved shootings was introduced last year by S.C. senator Gerald Malloy, however Richland County, S.C. sheriff Leon Lott – one of the only local law enforcement leaders whose agency investigates its own officer-involved shootings – has organized resistance to the bill.

This was the first officer-involved shooting involving the Marion County Sheriff’s Office this year and the 40th in SC so far in 2020.

In 2017, the Palmetto State set a record for the most officer-involved shootings in one year at 49. That year, the state had recorded 41 officer-involved shootings by Nov. 20 — which means SC is on track to set a record this year.

In 2019, there were 45 officer-involved shootings total in South Carolina, according to SLED.

Here are links to other recent officer-involved shootings in the last month:

According to SLED’s most recent uniform crime report,  the rate of law enforcement officers assaulted climbed by 20 percent in 2019 — after  and a 16 percent increase in assaults on law enforcement officers from 2017 to 2018.

“I am extremely concerned by the increased amount of violence in our state including the number of murders, assaults and violent attacks on law enforcement officers,” SLED chief Mark Keel said in a statement announcing the report on Monday.



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