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Black motorist shot by white constable draws scrutiny


The shooting of a Black driver by a White state constable during a traffic

stop in Florence, South Carolina, over the weekend has met scrutiny

concerning volunteer law enforcement, reports the Post And Courier. About

11 p.m. Saturday night, a constable was reportedly on a ride-along with a

Florence cop when they pulled over a driver in a residential part of town.

The incident elevated when the constable allegedly fired his gun at the

driver and injured him. It’s still unclear as to what prompted the

constable to fire his weapon and why the driver was even pulled over. None

of the parties involved have been identified at this time. However, the

incident has already promoted the mayor of Florence to call a press


The Post reports that unlike reserve officers, who also volunteer their

time, constables do not go through law enforcement training at the S.C.

Criminal Justice Academy. Still, some can carry guns and make arrests. The

state certifies them, but their training is offered by technical colleges.

State Rep. Terry Alexander, a Democrat whose district covers the

neighborhood where the shooting happened, said he had heard troubling

details about the episode that has prompted his own inquiry into standards

for constables. “I’m still trying to get an understanding of their

authority, their training … and who has oversight over what they’re

doing,” Alexander said. “The city officer wasn’t in harm’s way, so why did

the constable shoot?” The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating

whether the shooting was justified. The Florence Police Department said it

is also performing an internal review. The injured man was taken to an area

hospital, though his condition Monday was not known. SLED spokesman Thom

Berry said he was told Sunday that the man was expected to survive.