‘Nobody can tell us what happened’: Family of man who died in Timmonsville police custody wants answers

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FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The family of a man who died after allegedly being tased in the head by a Timmonsville police officer says they are fighting for answers.

Attorney Bakari Sellers said he’s been trying to get the full story. Sellers said Charles Green, 33, of Timmonsville, was pulled over for a drug stop, then involved in a pursuit and altercation before being tased in the head and dying two days later — but the specifics aren’t clear.

“We need answers,” said Jessica Green, Charles’ wife. “We don’t have proof of what happened. We want to understand why we are not seeing things. Nobody can tell us what happened.”

His family said they were with him in the hospital before he died. More than a month later, they said they still haven’t heard from Timmonsville Police or South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

“We should not have a situation where you go from police custody to dying,” Sellers said. “That time period is what we are looking to sort out.”

The family held a news conference on Tuesday with Sellers at the Florence County Judicial Center. Sellers said that an officer tased Green in the head is unacceptable under any circumstance.

“We do know that he was tased in the head,” Sellers said. “We believe that to be negligent, if not grossly negligent. I’m pretty sure any law enforcement officer will tell you that you do not tase people in the head.”

Sellers also said he wants to quash any rumors that Green’s death was a drug overdose. There is no evidence that this was an overdose,” he said.

“We know there was some kind of conflict between Green and the officer and we’re still trying to understand that,” he said.

He said one of the main issues is there is no body camera footage of the incident.

“I’m going to ask it again and again, but we don’t have any dashcam footage, we don’t have any bodycam footage,” Sellers said. “These body cameras, if they were in place, would not only protect individuals like this so we could have answers, but they would protect officers as well.”

However, Timmonsville Police Chief Thomas McFadden told News13 the officers were wearing body cameras and SLED has the video. The investigation is continuing with SLED.

Green’s parents, Shirlene and Charles E. Green, also were at the press conference along with his children.

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“My son did not deserve this,” Shirlene Green said. “And now I am lost without a child. And I want answers. I want answers.”

Green’s wife says his young daughter wants answers, too.

“My two older kids are standing behind me,” Jessica Green said. “He helped me raise them…I have to raise my 5-year-old baby girl with images of her father for the rest of her life.”

“She wants to know why her daddy’s not here. I don’t have those answers for her. All I can do is tell her we love him.”

Sellers was able to share Green’s toxicology report.

“There have been various rumors going around but one that we wanted to quash was that there was some type of drug overdose,” Sellers said. “Even in the official documents and police reports, they questioned whether he had inhaled drugs. If you look at that, you’ll see that he did have cannabinoids in his system, but if you’d have tested me two days ago I would’ve had it in my system too.”

Sellers said he’s glad SLED is investigating the case.

“We’re not asking for anyone to be arrested, we’re not asking for the department of justice, but we are asking for answers,” he said. “I’m pretty certain that any law enforcement officer will tell you that you do not tase people in the head.”

Sellers said the police reports and all other information should be made public once SLED’s investigation is complete. McFadden said he will issue a statement at that time as well.

News13 reached out to SLED for an update on the investigation and we have not yet heard back.

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