$650k settlement for black man stomped on by South Carolina cop

When a 58-year-old disabled man didn't instantly drop to the ground on-demand, Orangeburg cop David Lance Dukes knew what to do: stomp on his head.

But his victim, Clarence Gailyard, could not easily lie down because of injuries he suffered when struck by a car, for which rods and pins were inserted in his leg. And now Orangeburg, S.C., has agreed to pay him $650,000 to avoid further legal action.

Gailyard was an unarmed black man; someone had mistakenly claimed a stick he carried was a gun and called 911. The bodycam video of the incident is disturbing yet mundane: enraged police officers shrieking angrily at terrified, prone "suspects" and escalating until they remember their cameras are on.

"When an officer falls short of these expectations and conducts themselves in ways unbecoming to their department and the City, that officer must and will be held accountable," [City Administrator Sidney ]Evering said.

Dukes, 38, was fired two days after the incident and charged with felony first-degree assault and battery a few days after that. His lawyer has said the former officer is fully cooperating with state police in what he called a difficult and unfortunate situation.

Gailyard's lawyer said he appreciated how quickly Orangeburg worked to both help Gailyard and change the culture of a police department which had seen three years of increasing use-of-force case where 75% of the 13,000 residents are Black.

Good to see the cop who did it charged with a serious crime and the police chief gotten rid of.

Here's David L. Dukes' mugshot: