MARLBORO COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — One of the attorney’s for a man who was repeatedly tased by a deputy under the instruction from the Sheriff while in custody at the Marlboro County Detention Center spoke to News13.
Attorney Mario Pacella said Jarrell Johnson is still in custody and healing from this May 2020 incident but also from pre-existing mental health issues.
“There is civil liability here and that is one way to get law enforcements attention when there’s civil liability. When you hit people in their pocketbooks they tend to take more precautions,” Pacella said.
Pacella continued by saying if it wasn’t for a whistleblower in the Sheriff’s Office reporting this to SLED, this would still be going on today.
“This kind of misconduct is likely to have been going on for years and years and years and the only difference now is that it’s on videotape and now that it’s on video it allows us to seek justice for the people that have been harmed.”
Now he and his team with the Strom Law firm are looking to file civic and state lawsuits against Lemon and Cook.
“They were out there to execute punishment. There’s no question in my mind that was the intention. If you notice the Sheriff is mentioning or saying that “I know your family”, what he was doing is trying to discipline or punish Mr. Johnson for whatever he was charged with rather than secure him, get him in the facility, let him be processed through the judicial system. The Sheriff and the Deputy Sheriff took those matters into their own hands.”
Suspended Sheriff Charles Lemon and former Deputy David Cook have been charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, along with misconduct in office, according to an announcement Tuesday morning by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. Governor Henry McMaster suspended Lemon and appointed former Bennettsville Police Chief Larry McNeil as interim Sheriff. Cook resigned in July 2021 and was with the department since 2018.
In the video, Lemon orders the officials to remove the inmate’s handcuffs and “tase the hell out of him.” Lemon is heard on the video saying, “When y’all take the handcuffs off of him – when he turn around, stick that taser to his head.”
Lemon nor cook are in custody, but their arraignments are scheduled for Tuesday. Count on News13 for updates.