According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the cop who was caught on camera pounding a Black man’s skull into concrete in late July has been dismissed and charged with first-degree assault and battery.
Officer David Lance Dukes, 38, of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, was fired after internal officials reviewed body camera evidence of an incident on July 26 in which Dukes stomped 58-year-old Clarence Gailyard’s head while the man was on his hands and knees.
“I see the scar on my forehead every time I look in the mirror, and it bothers me. The only thing I want the community to do is change,” Gailyard told his attorney Justin Bamberg on Tuesday.
On July 26, Gailyard was out walking with his stick, which he keeps with him in case a dog comes up to him. He also uses a cane and moves slowly as a result of pins and rods in his leg from being hit by a vehicle while riding a bicycle, according to Bamberg.
Someone thought the stick Gailyard was clutching was a pistol and dialed 911. Dukes arrived and ordered Gailyard to the ground, but the man was unable to comply due to his physical limitations. Dukes smashed Gailyard’s head against the concrete while he was on his hands and knees.
“Officer Dukes then approached the victim, who was kneeling on the ground. Officer Dukes elevated his right leg and aggressively stomped on the victim’s neck and/or head area while the victim was in a helpless position on his hands and knees. The victim’s head hit the concrete as a result of the power of the impact. A warrant from the state law enforcement division states, “The victim suffered a contusion to his forehead and was conveyed by EMS.”
Bamberg published an eight-second video captured by a bystander of the event, as well as body camera footage that was shown during the news conference. Dukes was dismissed two days after the event and later charged.
The body camera footage depicts the aftermath of the event and was captured by another officer on the scene.
“You hurled me to the ground!” Gailyard remarked.
Dukes said, “I definitely did.” “You weren’t paying attention.”
Officer Aqkwele Polidore, who was also present at the time, stepped up and informed a sergeant who arrived later that Gailyard was lying about what had occurred. Dukes is shown on body camera talking to a sergeant about what happened, however the section about him striking Gailyard with his foot is missing. As she approached the scene, Polidore informed the sergeant that she had witnessed Dukes attack Gailyard.
“She is deserving of praise,” Bamberg added.
According to The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, Dukes was fired from another police department, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, in October for insubordination.
Dukes’ bond was set at $10,000 by a court on Saturday. He is not allowed to possess firearms while on bond. He risks a maximum sentence of ten years in jail if convicted.
Bamberg shared a photo of his client with gauze wrapped over his head to cover the damage. “This is my client, Mr. Clarence,” he tweeted. Disabled, entirely uninvolved, unarmed, and defenseless onlooker. A now-fired police in Orangeburg stomped on his head after regularly using excessive force on the people. His prior agency also sacked him a year ago. We have the ability to do better.”
Gailyard said he was still in pain a week after the event on Tuesday.
“I’m still not feeling well after that. I’m still in discomfort. I hope the pain goes away, but I don’t believe it will at this time,” he stated. “I don’t want them to do what they did to me to someone else.”
This Newswas originally reported on AtlantarBlackStar.com