The deputies involved in a deadly shooting of a man in the Poe Mill community have been cleared to return to duty, the Greenville County Sheriff's Office said.
In a release on April 12, the Greenville County Coroner's Office officially ruled the death of Jermaine Massey a homicide.
Massey, 35, died at Greenville Memorial Hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the torso, the coroner said.
The ruling of a homicide just confirms Massey was shot to death by another person; SLED is investigating to determine if the officer was in the right or not.
Now suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis said that Massey was shot by a deputy after charging at law enforcement officers with a large knife in March. The incident occurred on Third Avenue near Poe Mill.
Lewis described Massey as behaving erratically and agitated.
Close friends of Massey said the shooting doesn't make sense and that he had been complaining of leg pain prior to the incident. The NAACP called for a greater level of communication between law enforcement agencies and the community after the shooting.
On May 2, the sheriff's office confirmed that the deputies involved in the deadly shooting had been cleared internally and were no longer on paid administrative leave.
Massey's family issued the following statement: "The family and the coalition of community activists would like to express its displeasure in the decision to release those deputies back to patrol especially considering the incident involving Jermaine Massey on March 19 that resulted in his life being taken after calling 911 for help due to a mental meltdown. It is especially surprising to us that those officers have been internally cleared and released back to the streets of Greenville County without having had proper crisis intervention training nor de-escalation techniques. We would hope that these trigger sensitive officers will not be involved in any other deaths of this nature while on patrol."The shooting remains under investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
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