Longtime Jasper County lieutenant resigns after using racial slur online

Crime & Safety

RIDGELAND, S.C. (WSAV) – A Jasper County deputy handed in his resignation to the sheriff’s office Monday after receiving backlash for using a racial slur on social media.

On his personal Instagram, Doug Byrd shared a photo of himself with the caption, “I escaped from the asylum “#n—aonaboat #thisisgonnahurt #f–kitholdmybeer.”

Sheriff Chris Malphrus said in a Facebook post Thursday that the comment made by Byrd was “uncalled for and inappropriate” but said he believes it was an error in judgment.

“This deputy is a 30 year veteran, with an exemplary emergency services career, receiving the JP Strom Award – which is the highest academic award received by the SC Criminal Justice Academy,” he stated. “This deputy also served several years in the United States Marine Corps. There are also no previous disciplinary actions for this deputy under my administration.”

According to Malphrus, Byrd was demoted from lieutenant, given a pay cut, suspended without pay and placed on extended probation.

The sheriff also shared Byrd’s full apology:

On June 18th, while on duty with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, I was involved in a fairly serious automobile accident. Since that day I have been more or less confined to a bed or a couch due to injuries to my back. Over the past 5 weeks I have had a lot of time to sit and think. One of the issues that I have dealt with is the fact that my injuries could possibly end my career. Being in uniform for almost 30 years, that possibility weighs heavily on my mind.

A few days ago I was afforded the opportunity to get out of my house and have a little relief from the monotony and the four walls. Like millions of other people I posted a photograph on social media chronicling the adventure. As a caption to that photograph I used a word that has been taken as a racial slur. Little did I know that this would cause the pain and loss of trust and respect that it has. As the step-father to 2 bi-racial children, I should have known that using these words would be, not only socially unacceptable, but detrimental to my character which I have worked very hard to build.

To the people of any race, sex, color, creed, or religion that these words have offended I offer my most sincere and deep apology. Knowing that these are just words on a piece of paper I offer my most solemn promise to do my absolute best to rebuild the trust and respect that everyone deserves. I am truly disappointed in myself and my actions and will make every effort to correct my short comings and downfalls.

I do not ask that you blindly accept this apology. I ask that you give me the opportunity to make amends. I fully expect each and every one of you to hold me accountable for my actions and when you feel that I have adequately met your expectations, only then forgive me.

Malphrus says he’s working to ensure others in the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office understand that comments like these won’t be tolerated.

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