The city of Orangeburg, South Carolina has agreed to pay a settlement of $750,000 to a man who sued after being jailed for more than four months on false charges.
Demetrius Jamison was arrested in April of 2018 and charged with assaulting police officers. A short time after the incident, an officer wrote a memo saying the Jamison didn’t actually strike any officer. A review of the camera footage showed a police corporal encouraging officers to tell investigators that Jamison hit them.
Jamison was initially found guilty by a municipal court judge and spent 128 days behind bars because of the false charges.
In 2019, Jamison sued Orangeburg saying the city and the police officers involved in the encounter violated his civil rights by wrongfully arresting him. He also claimed that the publicity from the arrest prevented him from finding employment.
“This is a case of failed leadership,” Jamison’s attorney, Justin Bamberg said, following the settlement approval. “Imagine law enforcement alleging that you were guilty of something that some of them already knew you didn’t do, and all the while, you sat in jail contemplating the 20 years in state prison you were facing. That’s unacceptable and un-American.”
According to Jamison’s lawyer, state police investigated the arrest and determined he did not hurt any officers.
None of the officers involved in the arrest were charged, however
State police investigated Jamison’s arrest, ultimately determining he did not hurt any officers, according to Bamberg. Prosecutors did not bring charges against officers, but Bamberg said police actions were being reviewed by another agency.