Judge Brian Gibbons declared a mistrial in the retrial of a former South Carolina police chief charged with killing an unarmed man. Gibbons decision came after jurors said they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision after nearly seven hours of deliberation. Richard Combs was police chief of Eutawville when he shot and killed Bernard Bailey, 54, in 2011. Combs and Bailey had an ongoing dispute that began when Combs pulled over Brianna, Bailey’s daughter, for a tail light violation. During the stop, the daughter called her dad to the scene to provide proof of insurance to the police chief. Two months later, Bailey came into the Eutawville Police Department, which is also the town hall, to inform Combs that Brianna wouldn’t be able to appear for her court date. In that interaction, Combs tried to arrest Bailey for obstruction of justice for his actions during the March traffic stop, serving him the warrant he had been holding onto for 2 months. Combs followed Bailey to his vehicle, and Combs shot Bailey three times, which killed him. Bailey died from blood loss, after being shot in the lungs, heart and aorta. It’s the second time this case has ended in a mistrial. Combs’ first trial in January ended in a deadlocked jury after 12 hours of deliberations.
A man in Vero Beach, Florida died after being “subdued” by officers last Tuesday, according WPBF-TV. Deputies reported to a home in the 35th Avenue at 3:42 a.m. on June 16 after 911 calls were made requesting an ambulance and stating a man was “tripping” and “acting crazy.” Deputies arrived on the scene within four minutes to control the scene before paramedics arrived. According to Sheriff Deryl Loar, Jermaine Benjamin, 42, was “out of control” when deputies arrived. Family members claimed a deputy who was subduing Benjamin put his knee into the back of Benjamin’s neck and kept his face pressed against the ground. Loar said his deputies performed CPR on Benjamin until paramedics took over and rushed him to the hospital. Benjamin was pronounced dead at the hospital less than an hour later.
On that same day, the family of a Marine veteran who suffered from PTSD after serving in Iraq filed a claim against the city of Wichita, Kansas for police officers ignoring their department’s policy on helping mentally ill people. Wichita released to The Wichita Eagle a copy of the full claim document, which demanded $5 million, stated that a Wichita police officer shot and killed Icarus Randolph, 26, in his mother’s front yard on July 4th of last year, as his family pleaded for help and watched Randolph die. Randolph’s family 15-page claim alleged the city is liable for police not following Policy 519, which detailed how officers are to respond to emergencies involving mentally ill people.
On June 12, a special grand jury has indicted a Norfolk, Virginia police officer for the fatal shooting of a mentally ill man last year, WAVY-TV reported. Officer Michael Carlton Edington Jr. was indicted on one count of voluntary manslaughter in the case of David Latham. The nine-member jury also declined not to indict Edington on two other charges presented in the case—second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Norfolk police have said 35-year-old was shot at his home June 6, 2014, after he threatened the officer with a knife. According to a medical examiner’s report, Latham was shot eight times, including twice in the chest and twice in the back. Latham’s mother, Audrey Latham, said that her son had schizophrenia and had recently stopped taking his medication. She also has said police came to the family’s home in the past to help her son obtain psychiatric care.