Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office officials are praising the usefulness of body cameras after one deputy’s body camera footage was used to help land a suspect back in federal prison.
Sheriff Jim Matthews said a deputy, equipped with a body camera, was on a routine patrol on Sept. 5 when he conducted a traffic stop on U.S. 601 in Lugoff after receiving a citizen complaint of a possible drunk driver. When the deputy located the vehicle, he observed the vehicle to cross the center line of the roadway and initiated a traffic stop.
Matthews said when the deputy approached the vehicle, he could smell the odor of marijuana. The deputy made contact with 26-year-old Camisha Porterfield, of Columbia, who was driving the vehicle and 26-year-old Raymond Charles Asberry, of Ridgeway, who was the vehicle’s only passenger.
Upon further inspection of the vehicle, the deputy found a pistol in a bag containing Asberry’s clothing, to which Asberry claimed ownership of the gun, Matthews said.
Porterfield was charged with simple possession of marijuana, and Asberry was charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, Matthews said. At the time of his arrest, Asberry was on federal probation and was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm.
Matthews said Asberry’s federal probation officer was contacted and the U.S. Attorney’s Office was to proceed with a hearing on the probation violation charge after Asberry denied claiming ownership of the gun.
Knowing that the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office had outfitted all of its deputies with body cameras, Matthews said the assistant U.S. Attorney retrieved the body camera footage, which clearly showed Asberry’s statement to the deputy claiming ownership of the gun.
Asberry was transported back to federal prison for violation of his probation, Matthews said.
“These body cameras have turned out to be extremely helpful in a number of ways. They have exonerated deputies following what have turned out to be unfounded complaints and now body cam video is sealing the deal to send a convicted felon back to the federal pen,” said Matthews. “I think they have been a good investment.”