A former police officer accused of using excessive force on a handcuffed Black man claims another cop vandalized a department-issued flashlight with a Nazi symbol and is suing the city of North Charleston, South Carolina, for being fired, WCSC reported last week.
Leroy Walter Hair Jr.’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against Mayor Keith Summey, the attorney general’s office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division over the Nov. 15, 2016 incident in which Hair arrested James Terry III.
Hair was arrested and prosecuted for the use of excessive force against Terry after North Charleston police said Hair gave Terry a black eye during the altercation, something that his attorneys claim is false. He was acquitted by a judge but was fired from the North Charleston Police Department after video of the arrest was made public, according to The Post and Courier.
According to the suit, Terry became violent toward officers during his arrest for speeding. A few weeks later, officers searched Hair’s car and found an NCPD flashlight that had the words “The Wig Splitter” and a Nazi “SS” symbol on it.
“The Wig Splitter did not belong to Hair and was not assigned to his cruiser,” the lawsuit states. “The very existence of the Wig Splitter corroborates the inherent truth of the negative public image and media coverage of the City and NCPD, regarding its racial discrimination and excessive use of force.”
The flashlight was found a day after Hair’s firing but was not used as evidence in his trial, according to The Post and Courier.
Check out the video of Terry’s arrest below
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.