Editor’s note: The video in the player above may be disturbing to some viewers.
CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Solicitor Jimmy Richardson has released surveillance video in the recent trooper-involved shooting from Sept. 11, in Horry County.
After talking to both sides, the solicitor’s office decided to release the video to the public for full transparency. This is the same video that was shown to the family.
“When we viewed it, I talked with them and I said I don’t have the rest of it, this is unprecedented but I wanted you to see what I was seeing, when I was seeing it,” Jimmy Richardson, the 15th Circuit Solicitor said.
The full video from the Solicitor’s office is below. The video may be disturbing to some viewers.
The video shows a trooper’s car and another car pull into a driveway, they both get out and the trooper chases after a person. Then there was a scuffle and the man eventually staggers away and the video ends. The video has no sound. The solicitor’s office said the video does show the shooting but it’s not easily visible when exactly the shooting happens.
The solicitor’s office redacted the faces of the trooper, Vereen, and the bystanders, as well as vehicle license plates.
Friends and family of Tristan Vereen, who was killed in the shooting after fleeing a traffic stop in the area of Highway 905 and Highway 22, held a news conference last week calling for justice and transparency.
15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said the trooper tased Vereen, and then when they were on the ground, Vereen allegedly took the taser and used it on the trooper. Vereen also allegedly bit the officer. After Vereen tased the trooper, he was shot once in the chest, according to Richardson.
No other video has been received from the State Law Enforcement Division in regards to this case. The faces of the trooper, the decedent, and three bystanders who appear in the video have been blurred out. In addition the license plates of all private vehicles appearing in the video have been blurred for privacy.
The video was showed to the family on Sept. 16 and was examined by them with the SLED agents at that time. SLED also used a program that allowed them to slow down the footage and zoom in and provided the family with those views also.
Vereen’s family and their civil rights attorney released a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to the video being released. Richardson had said he believed Vereen was pulled over for a cracked windshield which the statement reads is not a traffic violation in South Carolina.
“If the stop is unlawful then the killing is unlawful. Mr. Vereen had the absolute right to resist the unlawful arrest of Trooper Benton. Unfortunately, we see time after time that the rights that have been afforded to us by the United States Constitution, are not afforded to people of color when it comes to their interaction(s) with law enforcement.”Statement from Harry M. Daniels LLC, Vereen family attorney
You can read the full statement below.
Generally, the office would wait until the investigation is complete before releasing any information, however they said a certain amount of misinformation was circulating in the community and they decided to release the video to alleviate any misinformation.
“In this case we had rumblings that were sort of getting out of hand where there was a lot of misinformation floating around and generally speaking a case like this will take 6-8 weeks before sled or whatever agency is investigating is able to render a complete report,” Richardson said.
No other information was release at this time.