Charleston Police Department sued by man assaulted during 2019 arrest

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department (CPD) is being sued by Rashad Robinson, who says he was assaulted during a July 2019 encounter with police.

The lawsuit, filed April 30, names CPD Chief Luther Reynolds and former CPD officer Kevin Schlieben, the officer who assaulted Robinson, as defendants.

Robinson alleges that he was walking to work at the time of the encounter and that the police had no reason to approach him.

Jail records from the encounter show that Robinson was arrested on charges of armed robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was released on a $70,000 bond.

The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigated the incident. According to an affidavit, Robinson ran from officers and was later detained. While he was handcuffed on the ground, Schlieben told Robinson to “shut the [expletive] up” and struck him in the head with an opened hand.”

According to the lawsuit, CPD’s “incident report of [the] incident has no mention of the assault on [Robinson]… despite the presence of several officers on the scene. The assault… was only discovered by a civilian employee, ironically hired to perform a Racial Bias Audit, who was reviewing [Body Worn Camera] footage and noted the assault on [Robinson].”

Shlieben was charged in November of 2019 with assault and battery. His supervisor, Lieutenant Arthur Myers, was terminated from CPD following the incident.

The suit alleges that “Schlieben acted in a negligent, grossly negligent, willful, wonton, and/or reckless manner and/or with deliberate indifference and used excessive force in his efforts to wrongfully seize and/or arrest [Robinson].”

Further, the lawsuit alleges “Charleston City PD and City of Charleston were deliberately indifferent to wrongful acts and omissions on the part of [CPD’s] officers and agents which fostered an environment where improper and unconstitutional conduct was condoned, tolerated, and/or emboldened by the policy-making authorities.”

Robinson is seeking damages on the following counts:

  • Negligence/Gross Negligence
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • False Arrest and False Imprisonment
  • Abuse of Process
  • Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Assault and Battery
  • Violation of 4th and 14th Amendments – Illegal Search and Seizure and Due Process Violations
  • Violation of 4th and 8th Amendments – Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Robinson is currently in jail for burglary and harassment charges. He has charges dating back to 2017 on counts such as armed robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, trespassing, and burglary.

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