South Carolina Man to Receive $650,000 Settlement After Police Officer Was Filmed Stomping on His Head

At a news conference in August, Clarence Gailyard, center, watched police body camera video of an officer stomping on him. At left is his lawyer, Justin Bamberg. (Credit…Jeffrey Collins/Associated Press)

After being stopped by the police in South Carolina in July, a Black man was ordered to lie on the ground. When he did not do so quickly, because he has metal rods and pins in his leg and hip, an officer stomped on the back of his head.

The man, Clarence Gailyard, 58, will now receive $650,000 in compensation from Orangeburg, S.C., the city announced on Wednesday.

Body camera footage from July 26 shows Mr. Gailyard being stopped by Officer David Lance Dukes. The officer points a gun at Mr. Gailyard, who is on his hands and knees.

In the video, Mr. Dukes, who was later fired, yells, “Get on the ground!” He then stomps on Mr. Gailyard, causing his forehead to hit the ground.

Mr. Gailyard sustained a head injury. He was stopped by the police that day after “an erroneous 911 call placed stating someone out there had a gun,” his lawyer, Justin Bamberg, said.

Mr. Gailyard, who has had rods and pins in his body since being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle a few years ago, was holding a piece of wood wrapped in duct tape that he used to keep stray dogs away when he went walking, Mr. Bamberg said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the city said that in addition to an apology, Mr. Gailyard would receive the compensation paid by the city’s insurance carrier. City officials said that the city would also establish a citizens’ task force to “provide oversight and guidance with regard to interactions” between residents and the Orangeburg police.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Jesus Jiménez

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