FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — Members of the National Action Network said they won’t give up until justice is served in an investigation involving allegations of excessive force by two Florence County deputies as they were arresting a man earlier this month in Florence.
The group held a news conference Wednesday outside the Florence County Sheriff’s Office. They held signs saying, “No Justice No peace.” The group is advocating for 34-year-old Tyler Fleming.
Fleming said he was assaulted by two deputies at a store two weeks ago on East Palmetto Street in Florence.
Two people said they witnessed the entire incident and can’t understand why deputies had Fleming pinned to the ground in what appeared to be a choke hold while in handcuffs.
Fleming said all he did was ask a deputy for a ride to Mullins.
Elder James Johnson with the National Action Network said he is upset that the two witnesses haven’t been interviewed by an investigator assigned to look into the allegations. James said he is also very upset the two deputies involved in the incident are still working and haven’t been placed on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.
The two witnesses, along with several others, expressed their frustrations with the investigation. The group is asking to meet with Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone about their concerns.
“We tried to meet with him. To communicate with him by phone. He refused to call my office back. This led me to believe that he don’t want to resolve this problem. And I want to send a strong message to him that choking Mr. Tyler will not go away. Not one bit. So, I would like to sit down and talk with Mr. Kenney Boone about the two officers,” said Johnson.
Sheriff Boone said a special investigator was assigned to the case from the day the allegations surfaced.
In a statement, Boone said, “While being detained for further questioning, the subject refused to follow reasonable verbal instructions and resisted officer’s attempts to properly detain him, forcing the officer to take the subject to the ground. “
Fleming is being represented by attorney Cheveron T. Scott.
Scott said, “Tyler is in good spirits and looks forward to his day in court on these criminal charges but more importantly, he would like to do whatever he can to make sure that this does not happen to another human being.”