Hemingway fires cop accused of killing unarmed motorist | News

Hemingway Police Officer Cassandra Dollard, accused of shooting and killing an unarmed motorist, has been fired, the Williamsburg County City Administrator said Feb. 11.

Dollard was fired two days after her arrest and charged with intentional homicide after Robert Langley was fatally shot at the end of a high-speed car chase on February 6.

The Dollard shooting leaves Hemingway, a town of about 500 people, with two active officers – including one who started the day after the shooting.

The chase began when Langley drove through a stop sign in Hemingway in the early morning hours of February 6. He ran at speeds of up to 100 mph on the SC 261 while ignoring traffic lights and not stopping for the officer.

Eight miles outside of Hemingway, Langley sank into a ditch at the intersection of Schoolhouse and Choppee Roads in Georgetown County.

Robert Langley. File/Provided

Langley, a 46-year-old father of 10, was unarmed when he was shot in the chest as he left the car, according to Dollard’s arrest warrant.

Dollard was released from the Georgetown County Detention Center on February 10 shortly after a judge set her bail at $150,000. If convicted of intentional homicide, she faces up to 30 years in prison.

This is the third time Dollard has been fired by a police department in a nearly 30-year career.

Dollard was fired in 2014 from the State Transportation Police, which oversees commercial vehicle law enforcement, after 8½ years for unspecified rule violations, conduct befitting a state employee and neglect, according to state records.

She was also fired from the Johnsonville Police Department after eight years in 2002 for “poor performance,” records show.

Dollard started with the Hemingway Police Department less than five months ago, according to state records. She has also worked for the St. Stephen and Lake City Police Departments and the Williamsburg County Detention Center.

Hemingway cop charged after fatally shooting motorist

Hemingway Police Chief Alex Edwards declined to comment on why Dollard was hired despite being fired from two other departments.

When asked if Dollard had had any problems while working at Hemingway, Edwards said the department was doing an internal review.

Dollard’s arrest warrant stated that she had no jurisdiction to arrest anyone outside of Williamsburg County.

Hemingway sits on the county line of Williamsburg, Florence and Georgetown, and it’s not uncommon for police to enter those jurisdictions occasionally, officials said.

Hemingway police officer released on bail after shooting unarmed motorist

“It all depends on the objectives of the investigation,” Edwards said. “Since I’ve been chief, I’ve investigated cases here and gone to other jurisdictions to investigate cases.”

Edwards and City Administrator William Freeman took further questions to the state’s Law Enforcement Division, which investigates all police shootings in South Carolina.

Hemingway’s police department is down to two active officers — Edwards and another officer who started Feb. 7. The city has another officer completing his training. The department is considered fully staffed with the chief and four officers.

“The public won’t see us as much until we can reassess with Administrator Freeman,” said Edwards, who has worked at Hemingway for seven months. “As far as what we’re going to do in the future, we’re in conjunction with the (Williamsburg County) Sheriff’s Office.”

Deputies have been helping enforce enforcement at Hemingway since late May due to city staffing shortages, Williamsburg County Sheriff Stephen Gardner said. That coverage will continue with Dollard’s dismissal, he added.

Freeman said he appreciated the sheriff’s help: “They helped us before, they help us now.”

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