The 38-year-old South Carolina officer has been charged with first-degree assault and battery.
In the ongoing issue of state-sanctioned violence by police upon Black Americans, a white police officer faces serious charges after bodycam footage showed him stomping on a nearly 60-year-old Black man’s head.
David Lance Dukes, a 38-year-old South Carolina police officer, has been arrested and charged with first-degree assault and battery after a July 26 incident found him transgressing upon Clarence Gailyard, age 58, and his cousin Demario Julian.
The two Black men were walking home when Dukes responded to reports that someone was nearby their location with a gun. Dukes and other officers approached them with guns drawn, and Gailyard attempted to get down to the ground as instructed. Hindered by previous leg and hip injuries he took longer than the officers liked and that is when Dukes appeared to stomp on Gailyard’s head as his hands and knees were on the ground.
EBONY will not show the bodycam footage due to its triggering nature.
A report by the Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, attorney Justin Bamberg explained that Clarence Gailyard walks with a stick and is “relatively slow.” At the time of the incident, he was carrying his walking stick, which he has used for a number of years. “I saw Dukes get out of the patrol vehicle with a gun drawn. He had the gun drawn back. He could’ve killed me,” said Gailyard.
Dukes has been fired following an investigation into the incident.
“Officer Dukes raised his right leg and forcibly stomped with his boot on the victim’s neck and/or head area,” the A.S.C. Law Enforcement Division warrant reads. “The force of the blow caused the victim’s head to strike the concrete. The victim suffered a contusion to his forehead and was transported by EMS.”
Dukes’ lawyer Jack Furse said his client has fully cooperated with state police on the case.
“This is a difficult situation and an unfortunate situation,” said Furse. “He has absolutely no violent history and he’s not a proclivity to violence.”
Dukes was held on $10,000 bond following his arrest.