Family of man killed by Hemingway cop file wrongful death lawsuit
COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – The family of a man shot and killed by a Hemingway police officer in February after he crashed his car in Georgetown County at the end of the chase has filed a wrongful death lawsuit with the United States District Court of Columbia.
Lawyers representing Robert Junior Langley, 46, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against former officer Cassandra Dollard, the city of Hemingway, the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and Williamsburg County. He alleges “negligent, reckless and intentional conduct leading to the unauthorized pursuit and subsequent murder of an unarmed Robert Langley.”
The lawsuit includes charges of gross negligence and allegations that Dollard used excessive force and violated Langley’s constitutional rights. She was fired after the shooting and charged with intentional homicide, and authorities later released dashcam video of the incident.
The lawsuit says Langley was unarmed on February 6 when he got out of his car after crashing into a ditch and was shot by Dollard. The chase began when Dollard attempted to arrest Langley, who had run through a stop sign at Hemingway.
During high-speed chase, lawsuit says Williamsburg dispatchers failed to tell Dollard she had no authority to continue pursuing Langley in Georgetown County, where Langley crashed her car at the intersection of Schoolhouse and Choppee roads eight miles outside of Hemingway.
The lawsuit also claims it was “several minutes” after the shooting before Dollard began performing chest compressions to help Langley, who died later that day in a hospital.
The lawsuit also cites Dollard’s history of misconduct on the job, which includes “hostility toward citizens, exploitation outside his jurisdiction, and inappropriate use of his firearm, leading to his termination from two agencies.” separate law enforcement agencies”.
She was fired from the Johnsonville Police Department in 2002 for ‘poor performance’ and from the South Carolina State Transportation Police in 2014 for a long list of inappropriate conduct, including failing to call stops necessary, to work outside his assigned area without notice. approval, using his blue lights to clear traffic for convenience and failing to signal his gun discharge while on duty, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also alleges that Dollard was hired by the Hemingway Police Department despite evidence of “her substandard work history, inappropriate conduct, and hostility toward civilians.”
The department also ignored “previous instances of inappropriate behavior when hiring officers to compensate for recruiting and staffing issues,” the lawsuit said. The city also failed to “adequately supervise” Dollard and did not require her to undergo additional training despite knowing of her previous conduct on the job.
Langley’s family is represented by civil rights attorneys Senator Gerald Malloy and Bakari Sellers, as well as Horry County Attorney Brana Williams.
“It’s hard to believe an officer with that kind of record wasn’t in jail let alone recertified and hired,” Sellers said in a press release Wednesday. “It’s irresponsible, it’s dangerous and, in this case, it was deadly.”
Malloy said the incident could have been avoided.
“You can’t put an officer with a history of misconduct and violence like this on the street, give him a badge and a gun, and then wash your hands when there’s a tragedy like this. “, did he declare. “They were just as negligent as Officer Dollard and we intend to hold them accountable.”
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages. It does not specify an amount.