Ex-Florence County deputy gets 6 months, hit handcuffed victim several times on head with flashlight

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FLORENCE, S.C. (AP/WBTW) — A former police officer in South Carolina has been ordered to spend six months in prison for hitting a man under arrest and in handcuffs with his flashlight.

Investigators say ex-Florence County deputy Brian Proffitt also left information about the beating out of his initial report in February 2019  and again in a follow-up report after being given a chance to change his story.

Proffitt pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree assault and battery and misconduct in office just before a jury was picked for his trial. A judge sentenced Proffitt to longer prison terms, but he will only have to serve them if he doesn’t complete four years of probation.

According to the documents, Proffitt was fired after he hit a handcuffed victim several times on the top of the head with a flashlight. He also allegedly charged the victim with trespassing even though the person who complained chose not to press charges.

News13 learned Proffitt had been terminated from the Darlington Police Department in August 2009, just before he was hired by the FCSO in September 2009.

According to state records, Proffitt was terminated from the DPD for “violation of agency police not involving misconduct as defined by” state regulations.

The DPD would not rehire him because of “numerous write-ups, sleeping on duty,” according to the documents. News13 requested employment and training records for Proffitt from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

A section of the documents asked if the Darlington Police Department would hire Proffitt again. A box labeled “No” had been checked.

Proffitt also had faced a lawsuit in 2016 for assault and false imprisonment.

News13 obtained a copy of the lawsuit on Thursday that outlined the allegations a husband and wife made against Proffitt. The couple accused him of alleged assault, false imprisonment, false arrest, abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

Read more about that lawsuit here.

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