South Carolina Police Officer Fired for Stomping on a Black Man

By: Tadi Abedje

On July 26, 2021, there was a police incident in Orangeburg, South Carolina. There were officers who responded to a warrant about an individual with a gun. Officer David Lance Dukes confronted an unarmed Black man named Clarence Gailyard, who walks with a cane because of a physical disability he has.  

Dukes told the 58-year-old Gailyard to get on the ground and he was getting on the ground as fast as possible. But as he was trying to follow the officer’s order, the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer inexplicably stomped him on the head and his head hit the concrete.  

As a result, Gailyard received a contusion on his forehead and was given treatment at a hospital. The incident was captured on police bodycam footage.  

“That use of force was deemed outside of the scope of our use of force policy. We did an examination of that use of force immediately and started working in that direction,” Department of Public Safety Chief Mike Adams said in a press conference. “The very next morning after reviewing the videos, I made a call to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and asked for investigative assistance. After they met on the 28th, the officer in question was terminated by the agency.” 

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Gailyard’s attorney, Justin Bamberg, expects the city of Orangeburg to release the footage of the incident. Dukes could be looking at 10 years behind bars if a jury finds him guilty. 

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