Innocent Man Beaten by Cops, Given Forced Medical Procedures in Search of Drugs He Never Had

April 10, 2016 in News by D

By Matt Agorist

In part of an investigative report on racism in South Carolina’s police departments by the Washington Post, Radley Balko has been exposing a series of horrifying police incidents that have taken place in the state.

His latest article in the series, The Watch covers the case of Kelvin Hayes, a successful business owner in Dorchester County. Hayes has recently settled a lawsuit against the Dorchester County sheriff’s office for a horrid act of brutality against him.

On March 27, 2011, Hayes, who was 52-year-old at the time, was driving with his friend Karen Skipper. Hayes, who is black, was driving Skipper, who is white, back to her house, when the couple passed a roadside traffic stop with multiple police cars.

One of those police cars immediately began pursuing the couple and pulled them over shortly after. Hayes had broken no traffic laws. However, Deputy Tim Knight still pulled them over.

Knight would claim that Hayes failed to turn on his blinker in time to make a turn. According to South Carolina state law, the blinker must be deployed at least 100 feet prior to making a turn.

Knight claimed that Hayes only turned it on 20 feet out. But a subsequent review of Knight’s own dashcam revealed that Hayes not only turned on his blinker well before the 100-foot mark but at a distance five times greater.

The entire reason for the stop was now unlawful. However, Knight was on the war path and he knew, that without a doubt, this man was a criminal.

As the Post reports:

It’s at about the 1:29:00 mark in the video that things begin to deteriorate. Knight asks Hayes whether he can search his person. Hayes understandably objects. He asks whether Knight plans to give him a ticket. Knight says, “I don’t know.” Hayes responds that he doesn’t see why he needs to be searched if he isn’t getting a ticket. At this point, Hayes has been out of his vehicle for several minutes, has not appeared angry or threatening and has completely complied with Knight’s instructions. But his objection to being searched appears to irritate Knight. A few seconds later, Knight asks Hayes whether he has a mint in his mouth. Hayes says he does.

Knight would later testify that at this point in the stop, he believed Hayes was engaged in some sort of criminal activity. From the video, it’s hard to fathom how. Knight later claimed he saw a plastic baggie in Knight’s mouth, though that isn’t at all apparent in the video. Knight then demands that Hayes open his mouth so he can inspect it. Hayes again asks whether he’s getting a ticket and objects to Knight searching his mouth. At that point, a clearly agitated Knight says, “You take that out of your mouth right now or I will choke you out.” He then grabs Hayes by the lapels of his shirt and says again: “I will choke you out right now. Take that out your mouth.”

Read the rest of the story here