SLED investigating DUI incident when man dies under Charleston PD custody

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Upon the discovery of new information regarding a DUI arrest that occurred last year, the Charleston Police Department has requested that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division conduct an independent investigation of the incident.

On August 12, 2018, at approximately 5:08 p.m., a two-vehicle collision took place at the intersection of US-17 and Coming Street in downtown Charleston, according to the news release. Officers from the Charleston Police Department were dispatched to the scene of the collision. 

As the first officer arrived on the scene, the driver of one of the vehicles was in an ambulance being attended to by EMS. When an officer spotted an open container in the driver’s vehicle, the officer requested that the driver take a series of field sobriety tests. The driver was then taken to Charleston Police Headquarters for a breathalyzer examination. 

The report stated that while entering the station, the driver fell to the ground and reported that he was experiencing physical distress, at which point, officers called EMS and he was transported to a local hospital, where he died four days later.

While gathering information in response to a news request involving this case, the CPD was provided with a document that raised questions about whether CPD officers followed proper procedure when the driver was not transported to the hospital from the scene of the accident. Believing that this matter should be independently investigated to ensure objectivity, city of Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds immediately referred the investigation to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. 

Chief Reynolds said, “The loss of a life is always tragic and must be taken very seriously. I have requested that SLED conduct a thorough investigation into this matter. The Charleston Police Department is committed to protecting and serving the people of our city, while always being transparent and accountable for our actions in the process.”  

SLED has requested that any additional inquiries regarding this incident be directed to their agency.

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