Civil trial begins in use of force case against Greenville County Sheriff’s Office
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Opening statements started on Tuesday in a civil case against the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office after allegations of excessive use of force.
According to a complaint Stephon Hopkins filed in 2021, two Greenville County deputies allegedly taunted, harassed, and even slammed a car door into the head of the then-29-year-old in April 2019.
Deputies said they initially responded to a house Hopkins was at after someone reported a domestic issue. According to deputies, Hopkins allegedly refused verbal commands when they arrived and tried to run before they took him into custody.
Deputies said after arriving at the detention center, Hopkins refused to stand up and rolled out of the car.
Body camera footage from one of the deputies shows Hopkins getting pulled out of the car and the car door being shut on his head. The deputy involved later wrote in a report, “I went to close the door, and he rolled and put his head in the way of the door, not causing any injury.”
In a statement given in 2021, the Sheriff’s Office said a Response to Aggression Analysis was done and found that the use of force was not unnecessary or intentional. Hopkins later pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was released on time served.
Hopkins and his attorney believe the entire situation was excessive.
On Monday, a jury for the trial was selected.
“Today was a good day, and Stephon Hopkins looks forward to his day in court. We look forward to having this jury trial, be here all week laying out the facts of the case. And the best part about this case is that most of it’s on video and so we look forward to presenting that case in front of the jury and go from there,” said Bakari Sellers, an attorney for Hopkins.
FOX Carolina reached out to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office for a statement with the trial set to begin, but they said they don’t have a comment.
The trial is scheduled to last the rest of the week. Stay with FOX Carolina for updates.
Copyright 2023 WHNS. All rights reserved.