Tensions continue to rise between law enforcement and African Americans and a recent ruling in the case of a unarmed black man won’t help at all.
Prosecutors have agreed to drop the murder charge against 38-year-old Richard Combs, a former police chief in the town of Eutawville, in exchange for his guilty plea. Combs went to trial twice for the murder charge, but both cases ended resulting in a hung jury.
He faced up to 10 years on the misconduct in office charge. According to his lawyer he decided to plead guilty due to emotional and financial exhaustion.
Combs allegedly shot Walter Bailey in May 2011 as he tried to arrest him on a obstruction of justice charge that was a result of Bailey arguing about his daughters traffic ticket.
When Bailey approached the Combs at Eutawville’s town hall, combs wasn’t threatened and could have left the situation, but fired his weapon striking Bailey 3 times, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys said Combs feared for his life because he was leaning into Bailey’s pickup and only had seconds to react.
Combs was suspended after the shooting and dismissed him several months later. A $400,000 settlement was reached with Bailey’s family over wrongful death.