South Carolina Police Officer Charged For Stomping Black Man’s Head Into Concrete After 911 Caller Mistaking the Man’s Stick for a Weapon

A South Carolina police officer who was captured on video stomping a Black man’s head while he was on the ground in late July has been fired and charged with first-degree assault and battery, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Officer David Lance Dukes, 38, was let go after an internal officials reviewed body camera footage of the July 26 incident. Dukes stomped 58-year-old Clarence Gailyard’s head while the man was on the ground.

“Every time I look in the mirror, I see the scar on my forehead, and it’s not OK. The only thing I want the community to do is change,” Gailyard sawid while with his attorney Justin Bamberg. On July 26, Gaolyard was walking with a stick he carries in case a dog approaches him. Gailyard says he walks with a came often and often moves slowly as a result of pins and rods in his leg from being hit by a car while on his bicycle.

A person called 911 under the belief, was holding a gun. Dukes arrived and ordered Gailyard to the ground, however, but the man wasn’t physically able to immediately comply. While he was on the ground, Dukes stomped Gailyard’s head, causing it to hit the concrete.

“Officer Dukes then approached the victim, who was on his hands and knees. While the victim was in a defenseless position on his hands and knees, Officer Dukes raised his right leg and forcibly stomped with his boot on the victim’s neck and/or head area. The force of the blow caused the victim’s head to strike the concrete. The victim suffered a contusion to his forehead and was transported by EMS,” says a warrant from law enforcement division.

Bamberg released an 8-second video, the incident taken by witness as well as body camera footage, which was played during the press conference. Dukes was fired two days after the incident, but charged days later. The body camera footage is from another officer on the scene and shows the aftermath of the incident.

“You threw me down!” Gailyard said.

“I sure did,” Dukes replied. “You wasn’t listening.”

A judge has set Dukes’ bond at $10,000 and is not permitted to posses firearms. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison.

Bamberg tweeted a photo of his client showing his head wrapped with gauze over the wound. He captioned the photo, “This is my client, Mr. Clarence. Disabled, completely innocent bystander, unarmed, and defenseless. Got his head STOMPED on by a now fired officer in Orangeburg who repeatedly used excessive force on the people. Was also fired by his previous agency < a year ago. We can do better”

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