Due to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in South Carolina recently released police dashcam footage of an officer fatally shooting an unarmed man.
At 1:24 a.m. on February 6, Hemingway Police Officer Cassandra Dollard attempted to pull over Robert Langley Jr. for allegedly disregarding a stop sign. Officer Dollard pursued Langley across county lines until he drove his vehicle into a ditch roughly six minutes later.
According to the recently released dashcam video, Langley placed his hands outside of the driver’s side window after Dollard ordered him to show his hands. Langley appeared to be unable to open the driver’s side door after crashing into the ditch.
As Langley began to open the passenger side door, Dollard approached the vehicle before slipping and falling into the muddy ditch. Langley started to exit the car when Dollard suddenly shot him in the chest.
Three days later, Dollard was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter. She was also terminated from the Hemingway Police Department.
“When people watch this video, I hope they realize that this isn’t just some statistic. He was a father, a brother, a son and they killed him for nothing,” Langley’s mother, Roslyn Brockington Langley, said in a statement. “They left a hole in our lives and it could happen to anyone.”
“I know it’s a really dangerous job. I certainly support law enforcement and we put them out on the streets, it’s a very challenging job to keep us all safe,” former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon told WCSC. “At the same time when you have that kind of authority it needs to be exercised in a lawful manner and this hasn’t been used in a lawful manner. There just doesn’t seem to be any way to justify the killing here.”
“She violated multiple law enforcement procedures,” Bakari Sellers, an attorney for Langley’s family, told The Post and Courier. “It’s one of the worst shoots I’ve seen — absolutely no justification. She was unprepared, ill-trained and should not have been on the road that night. Robert Langley should be alive today.”
In April 2002, Dollard was fired from the Johnsonville Police Department for “poor performance.” In September 2014, the State Transport Police terminated her for violating multiple policies, including willful violation of rules, improper conduct unbecoming of a state employee, and negligence in the performance of duty.