2 more Rich. Co. jail officers face firing over homeless man’s beating

March 16, 2013 

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— Two more detention officers have been recommended for termination in connection with last month’s beating of a homeless man at Richland County’s jail.

The officers were placed on administrative leave without pay on Friday and recommended for termination for failing to follow the jail’s use-of-force procedures, according to Richland County spokeswoman Stephany Snowden. Snowden said the officers had knowledge of the alleged attack and did not report it.

That brings to six the number of officers suspended.

Earlier this month, Richland County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested officer Robin Smith, 37, and charged him with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. County officials also fired Smith, who had worked for two years at the detention center.

The 51-year-old homeless man wound up in jail Feb. 7 on a trespassing charge after he was found by USC police sleeping in a building doorway. He was hospitalized four days after the alleged attack and is suffering life-threatening injuries, sheriff’s department Capt. Chris Cowan has said.

No one has explained why there was a delay in getting the man medical treatment. Hospital officials called the sheriff’s department when the man was brought in.

The county, not the sheriff’s department, manages the jail. The sheriff’s department is investigating.

From staff reports

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