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South Carolina Deaths in Police Custody, Final Report

NCJ Number
Robert J. Kaminski; Lisa Coleman
Date Published
June 2007
24 pages
This report summarizes findings on persons who died while in police custody in South Carolina during 2006 and 2007.
Based on information supplied by coroners or their assistants, from April to December 2006 and January to February 2007, 19 deaths in police custody occurred. Of the 19 deaths, 6 were pending and unavailable. Of the 16 subjects of who information was available, all but 2 were male. Their ages ranged from 20 to 54, with a mean of 36 years. Six were African-American, six were White, and one was Hispanic. Seven deaths involved suspects being shot with firearms and killed by police. Five were listed as justifiable homicides by coroners. Three deaths were due to drug overdoses while another was alcohol and drug related. One subject was hit by a car and died from head injuries during an attempt to escape police custody. Another subject died in a medical facility from an illness (cancer), and another died in a medical facility from unknown causes after attempting to hang himself. Lastly, a 2006 incident in Beaufort involved a subject who had been behaving in a bizarre manner and died suddenly after being restrained by police. This case is still under investigation. In addition to these findings, brief narratives regarding the deaths in police custody are presented, as well as media accounts if available. This report summarizes the findings regarding the ongoing effort of research staff at the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina to collect information about persons who died while in police custody during the last three quarters of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007. Tables