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Ex-South Carolina officer punches man while arresting him





Ex-South Carolina officer punches man while arresting him Ex-South Carolina officer punches man while arresting him
  • Leroy Hair, 29, of Summerville, faces up to 30 days in jail
  • Hair was caught on video punching James Terry III while arresting him
  • Terry was stopped by North Charleston police for speeding on November 15 

A former South Carolina police officer caught on video punching a man while arresting him has been charged with assault.

Leroy Hair, 29, of Summerville, turned himself in on Wednesday morning, was put in jail on a charge of third-degree assault and battery and then released shortly thereafter.

The misdemeanor carries up to 30 days in jail.  

James Terry III was stopped for speeding on November 15 in North Charleston and was handcuffed and put into a patrol car after becoming belligerent, authorities said.

 Leroy Hair, 29, is a former South Carolina police officer who was put in jail on Wednesday for allegedly punching James Terry III while arresting him.James Terry III was stopped for speeding on November 15 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Terry has bruises on his face in this mugshot. 

Former South Carolina Police officer Leroy Hair, 29, of Summerville, (left) faces up to 30 days in jail for punching James Terry III (right) while arresting him. The November incident was caught on video

Hair was a backup officer who arrived to the scene in the parking lot of a shopping mall on Rivers Avenue. 

Police stopped Terry for going 76 miles per hour in a 35-mph zone.

The video shows him pulling Terry across the backseat to the edge of the frame. 

Terry's attorneys say that's when the officer punched him repeatedly in the face.

 North Charleston police arrested Terry in the parking lot of a shopping mall for speeding

North Charleston police arrested Terry in the parking lot of a shopping mall for speeding

Hair said Terry spit on officers as they tried to arrest him, according to News 2.  

The North Charleston Police Department fired Hair in December for 'unnecessary or excessive use of force'. 

State investigators found that Hair 'willfully and unlawfully strike and punch, victim James Terry III about his face'.

Hair went before a bond court judge on Friday and was granted bond at $1,087. His lawyer Edward Phipps pointed out that his client has no criminal background.

'[Hair's] married with children,' Phipps told The Post and Courier during an afternoon bond hearing.

Though other officers used force against Terry during the arrest, Hair is the only one to face discipline, said police spokesman Spencer Pryor.

Terry hasn't filed a lawsuit, but his lawyers are looking into it. 

One of his lawyers, David Aylor, complimented the investigation by state law enforcement but told The Post and Courier that it left more questions than answers.

 Video captured Hair pulling Terry across the backseat of a patrol car to the edge of the frame

Video captured Hair pulling Terry across the backseat of a patrol car to the edge of the frame

 Terry's attorneys say that's when Hair punched their client repeatedly in the face

Terry's attorneys say that's when Hair punched their client repeatedly in the face

'However, this pattern of excessive force showed by police departments across the country can no longer be viewed as isolated occurrences.

'We welcome the opportunity to bring incidents like this to light for the betterment of society', Aylor said.

The North Charleston Police Department has long been troubled by by accusations of excessive force and unfair practices. 

Most prominently, former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager faces a retrial this year on a murder charge in the shooting death of Walter Scott. 

Nearly two years ago, Slager was caught on video fatally shooting Scott in the back as he ran from a traffic stop.  


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