Black Man Whose Head ‘Stomped’ By South Carolina Officer Awarded $650K
In SummaryClarence Gailyard has been awarded $650,000 months after his head was stomped on by an Orangeburg, South Carolina, officer.
WARNING: This story contains discussions of police brutality.
Clarence Gailyard, a Black man who was stomped in the head by a white police officer when he didn’t lay down on the ground quickly enough, will receive $650,000 from the city of Orangeburg, South Carolina, per the Associated Press.
On July 26, Gailyard was walking with a shiny tape-wrapped stick when someone mistook it for a pistol and dialed 911. Orangeburg Public Safety Officer David Lance Dukes showed up and eventually ordered Gailyard to the ground, becoming upset when he didn’t comply fast enough.
Dukes then stomped on the victim’s head and neck, causing his forehead to hit the parking lot concrete.
Gailyard was said to walk slowly and with a cane due to pins and rods in his leg from being hit by a car while riding his bicycle, which is why he was unable to lay down quickly. The stick he was carrying was to defend himself against potential dog attacks.
“Every time I look in the mirror, I see the scar on my forehead, and it’s not OK,” Gailyard said after the incident, per AP. “The only thing I want the community to do is change.”
Dukes was fired two days after the incident and charged with felony first-degree assault and battery.
The department’s interim police chief is currently evaluating use-of-force policies and there are currently plans to form a citizen’s task force to monitor how police officers handle people.
Gailyard’s lawyer praised Orangeburg for their swift action and for their efforts to reform the police department, which has experienced an increase in use-of-force cases over the previous three years.
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by police brutality, resources are available here.