CPD calls attorney’s interpretation of officer-involved shooting “inaccurate, incomplete, and irresponsible”
Chief Holbrook: We must work through meaningful reform,but cannot do that with false narratives
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Hours after attorney Marc Brown held a press conference Friday morning regarding an officer-involved shooting involving his client, Sir Brandon Legette, back in August 2019, a spokesperson with the Columbia Police Department called information provided by Brown “inaccurate, incomplete, and irresponsible.”
Legette, 29, is suing the City of Columbia, the Columbia Police Department, and Officer Sean Rollins after he was injured following a shooting in a parking lot off Broad River Road.
According to CPD, the facts given concerning the August 2019 incident do not tell the entire story.
The CPD spokesperson said the department can not speak at length about the incident in order to allow the “criminal process to conclude”, but said Legette and his team are entitled to a fair and impartial trial under the Sixth Amendment.
They did say however, Legette has multiple criminal charges that are still pending because of the 2019 incident, including Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Possession of a Stolen Pistol, Driving Under Suspension, Operating Vehicle without Insurance, and Use of Another Vehicle’s License Plate.
On Friday afternoon, the department released body camera video showing what occurred that August night.
According to CPD, Rollins was on patrol in the Broad River Road area at 3:00 a.m. on August 24, 2019, when he pulled over a Dodge SUV at the Food Lion parking lot located at 1013 Broad River Road.
During the stop, CPD says Officer Rollins made repeated requests for Legette to get out of the car.
As Officer Rollins tried to remove Legette from the car, officers say he sped off with the officer partially hanging outside of the movong car. A short time later, CPD says Legette drove down a steep embankment while Rollins begged him to stop the vehicle before the car crashed.
Following the crash, authorities say Rollins continued to struggle with secure Legette at which time he fired his department-issued weapon, striking Legette in the head.
Both men were treated at a hospital for injuries sustained from the incident.
CPD tells ABC Columbia News that Legette later acknowledged possessing a gun that officers located on the driver’s side floorboard of his vehicle. That gun officials say was later determined to have been stolen during 2017 burglary.
CPD’s unedited videos, which were released to the public Friday, show the events that occurred early that morning.
Columbia Police Chief W. H. “Skip” Holbrook released a statement concerning the incident saying,
“The Columbia Police Department understands and acknowledges the current distrust some feel with law enforcement and is committed to continued accountability, transparency, and growth through community partnerships. We stand at a defining moment in history and each of us must work through meaningful and thoughtful processes to effect positive change and reform. We cannot do this if individuals choose to misrepresent facts and provide false narratives in an effort to divide our community. As citizens, we should all demand more.”
At a press conference Friday morning, Legette spoke to the media alongside Brown and his legal team, saying that he was complying with the officer’s requests and that the use of force was not justified.
“At the time of the situation, I was just terrified, and the way I feel, I’m just appreciative and thankful to be here today to share my story with you all so you know the truth,” Legette told reporters.
Brown said after the car crashed in the ditch, Rollins tried to fire a shot at Legette, but the gun malfunctioned. After his client said Rollins struck him twice with his gun, Rollins fired his weapon, striking Legette in the head.
“He does not deserve to be carrying a firearm on the streets of Columbia, and he needs to be terminated immediately,” Brown said.
Columbia Police said at the time of the incident, Legette was out on bond for an unrelated 2018 incident with charges of Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature as well as Unlawful Neglect of a Child.
Authorities say Legette also had two outstanding warrants for 2nd Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny from a incident back in 2018.