Graphic video was released on Tuesday in connection with the death of Jarvis Evans at the R. Eugune Johnson detention center in Laurens, South Carolina last summer.
Evans, 40, was a mentally ill black male who died in a holding cell at the detention center on July 30, 2021 after being repeatedly tased by deputies of the Laurens County sheriff’s office. Evans was arrested by deputies on the evening of July 29 after calling 9-1-1 on himself.
Prior to arriving at the detention center, Evans allegedly kicked one of the deputies – and was under the influence of drugs – although it is not immediately clear what he was being charged with at the time he was brought to the facility.
What is abundantly clear? What happened upon his arrival ...
“Prior to being left alone in the holding cell, body-worn cameras recorded Jarvis being forcefully placed in the prone position with a knee on his neck and back, his face covered by a spit mask, and jolted by a TASER drive-stun three times in less than 20 seconds, all while securely strapped to an emergency restraint chair,” a statement from Evans’ family attorney Mark Peper noted.
That’s not all the cameras captured.
One deputy held Evans in a chokehold as he entered the facility – screaming that deputies were going to kill him. Others egged their colleagues on as at least five deputies – all of them white – wrestled Evans to the ground and struggled to place him in a restraint chair.
“Tase this motherfucker,” one deputy shouted as Evans was being restrained.
Another deputy called Evans a “complete fucking retard” as he was being placed into the restraint chair and his face covered with a spit hood.
He was later called a “dumb shit” and a “piece of shit” by deputies.
Based on the body-worn camera footage, the situation appeared to have stabilized once Evans was placed in the restraint chair. However, deputies struggled with the leg restraints on the chair – prompting him to become agitated once again. At this point, Evans was repeatedly tased while seated in the restraint chair prior to being placed in a holding cell.
“One-two-three-four-five-six,” Evans repeatedly stated after being tased, counting the number of officers surrounding him with their tasers drawn.
Take a look but please be warned: The footage from this incident is extremely graphic …
(Click to view)
(Via: FITSNews/ YouTube)
The above footage – taken from the body-worn camera of a deputy on the scene – was released by Peper in connection with a wrongful death suit filed against Laurens County sheriff Don Reynolds.
“Having received no medical care for his injuries, Jarvis would be found unresponsive with his head laid back in the restraint chair less than 90 minutes later,” Peper said in his release. “He would be pronounced dead by hospital officials shortly thereafter and the manner of death deemed ‘accident’ by the Laurens County Medical Examiner.”
Peper is holding a press conference with Evans’ family at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday (August 16, 2022) at the Laurens sheriff’s office (216 Main Street, Laurens S.C.). According to him, Reynolds is the sole defendant in the lawsuit – which alleges “negligent training, negligent supervision, and negligent retention of his … deputies, which caused the death of Jarvis Evans.”
Reynolds was not immediately available for comment. Obviously, my news outlet will provide full coverage as soon as the sheriff addresses the situation.
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Both the office of S.C. eighth circuit solicitor David Stumbo and S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson reviewed the findings of a S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation which was conducted into Evans’ death. According to a letter (.pdf) from Stumbo, deputies’ “deployment of the ‘dry-stun’ function of the taser to Mr. Evans’ leg, while arguably not necessary under the circumstances, did not fall outside of the parameters laid out in the sheriff’s department taser discharge policies.”
”Furthermore, the pathologists’ autopsy report seems clear that Mr. Evans untimely death was caused by drug overdose, not by the actions of the involved officer,” Stumbo added.
Wilson’s office concurred.
“We have concluded that the officers involved did not act outside of departmental policy and there is insufficient evidence to disagree with the decision of the solicitor,” a letter (.pdf) from senior assistant deputy attorney general Heather Weiss noted.
This news outlet has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the complete investigatory file.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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