Officer charged with detaining SC couple illegally placed in administrative service

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A Colleton County sheriff’s deputy has been placed on administrative duty pending the conclusion of an SLED investigation into a 2020 incident in which the officer was charged with illegally detaining a couple while he worked for Holly Hill Police.

Shalane Tindal, spokesman for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, said, “The Holly Hill Police Department did not disclose this information when we contacted them regarding (Jermaine) Smith’s tenure with their department.”

Three officers, including Smith, arrived at the home of Shane Glover and Codie Fuller in Orangeburg County at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 2, 2020, woke them up, handcuffed them, and took them outside in their underwear.

Smith held an AR-15 during the 20-minute encounter, which was captured on body-worn cameras and shown at a press conference held Tuesday by their attorney, Justin Bamberg.

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Holly Hill Police Chief Joshua H Detter said: “The Holly Hill Police Department is not commenting on pending lawsuits. Jermaine Smith is no longer with our agency. We look forward to the truth emerging in the process.”

Smith was hired by Colleton County on June 7, 2021 and received an employee of the quarterly award in March. He was placed in administrative duty on April 20, Tindal said.

Bamberg, who represents Bamberg, Barnwell and Colleton counties in the state legislature, said the officers did not have a search warrant that morning and they were outside their jurisdiction. One of the officers was from Santee, about 13 miles north of where Glover lived outside of Holly Hill.

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“This is a ridiculous situation,” said Bamberg, who later added “extremely frustrating.”

He said Smith had asked Fuller why she was dating Glover at one point and that Glover wanted to talk to him about it, but the officer rushed off. The couple have a young child who was in the house when the police arrived.

Early the next morning officers arrived with flashing lights and rifles drawn.

The video of the scene showed Glover asking Smith what he wanted to know and Smith replied, “I’d like to know if you have any puppies.”

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“Pups,” Bamberg said. “Their lives were endangered by puppies.”

Fuller was held in the back of a patrol car.

Bamberg said the pair were terrorized by “people wearing police suits”.

Later that morning, Glover reported the incident to the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office reported the incident to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division on Aug. 4, 2020, said Renée Wunderlich, SLED spokesperson.

“The business is open and active; so no further details are available at this time,” she said.

The mayors of Holly Hill and Santee did not respond to a request for comment.

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