Police Shootings Scrutinized, Crime Victims Rally For Reform – Week In Review 5/13/2023

Digging deep on a pair of high-profile officer-involved shootings …

A pair of officer-involved shootings dominated headlines in South Carolina this week – one from last weekend and the other from more than two years ago.

In the first incident, 28-year-old James Rakeem Pierce of Walterboro, S.C. – a leader in the “Cowboys” gang – opened fire on two Charleston County deputies during a routine traffic stop on U.S. Highway 17 near Ravenel, S.C. One deputy was struck three times and survived.

Pierce was killed when deputies returned fire.

Pierce was on the street even though he had a mile-long rap sheet including multiple attempted murder charges and many other violent crimes – as well as numerous drug charges. Despite this litany of offenses, he continued receiving preferential treatment from the Palmetto State’s so-called “justice” system. More than two dozen of Pierce’s charges were either flat out dismissed or listed as nolle prosequi (not prosecuted) by the office of S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor Duffie Stone – which employed Alex Murdaugh as an assistant solicitor at the time. Pierce also received a sweetheart plea deal in May 2019 from Perry Buckner – a Murdaugh-friendly judge.

Such accommodation of violent criminals is sadly a staple of our Week In Review segments …



The second officer-involved shooting we focused on took place in May 2021 – but made national news this past week after state representative Justin Bamberg filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Trevor Mullinax of Rock Hill, S.C. Mullinax was nearly killed by deputies of the York County sheriff’s department during an incident on his family’s property.

Bamberg also tweeted some graphic video footage of this shooting which painted responding deputies in a terrible light.

“Sheriff’s deputies failed to plan, choosing instead to ride in like cowboys from a John Wayne movie,” Bamberg alleged in his lawsuit.

Mullinax was hit nine times – including a gunshot wound to the back of his head. He miraculously survived, but … was he trying to kill himself by forcing responding officers to open fire? Was this incident an attempted “suicide by cop?”

In other news, our special projects director Dylan Nolan attended the second annual Victims’ Rights rally at the S.C. State House this week – chronicling just how far this movement has come in the last twelve months.

Finally this week, we previewed an upcoming series of stories we are doing on South Carolina’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic – and whether all of the mandates imposed on our citizens (and our children) were actually based on sound science. Look for much more on this issue in the coming weeks …

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‘Cowboys’ Gang Leader Killed After Wounding Charleston Deputy
York County-Officer Involved Shooting Draws National Attention


Momentum For Change Is Building



Will Folks on phone
Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

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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