Councilman, advocate put investigators on notice - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Councilman, advocate put investigators on notice

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A Florence city councilman and an activist asked Wednesday for a complete and fair investigation into an officer-involved shooting inside Florence city limits.

Councilman Ed Robinson and Raymond Johnson with Action 7 said they don't believe everything the officer says about the shooting, which happened off Oakland Avenue around 11:30 p.m. on January 27.

Officer Alex Ussery is on paid administrative leave following the shooting. The man he shot, Antoine James, was released from a local hospital and is now charged with several crimes including racing, driving under a suspended license, and assault and battery with intent to kill.

Robinson and Johnson said they will ask the Federal Department of Justice to investigate the shooting. The State Law Enforcement Division is already conducting an independent investigation, but Johnson said he wants more oversight to be sure there's not a cover-up.

In addition, the men hope to help James defend himself from the charges filed against him. The said they have asked several lawyers to review his case.

"If this young man has to go against the system to fight his case, we feel that he will not get justice," Robinson explained. "This is our purpose. We want to make sure that he has the means - we want to provide the means - to get fair and equitable representation for the charges against him."

Officer Alex Ussery said in his police report he saw James racing a Ford Mustang down the street in north Florence. Ussery said once James stopped in a grassy lot off Oakland Avenue he got out to approach the car James was driving.

Ussery said he pulled his gun out because James had already driven away from police once. When Ussery approached the Mustang, James spun the car around and began driving toward Ussery, according to the police report.

Ussery said he thought James was going to run over him, so he fired his gun at James and shot him three times. The Mustang crashed into the door of Ussery's police car.

Johnson said James has a different account of what happened, and he wants to be sure the investigation includes both viewpoints.

During a news conference Wednesday Johnson showed photos of the gunshot wounds to James. He said the wounds show that James had his hands up when he was shot. Johnson also relayed more about what James said happened - that Ussery pulled his car in front of the Mustang while it was still moving forward, and that James accidentally pressed the gas pedal while he was in shock from being shot.

"For this police officer to say that he shot because he thought his life was in danger, based on the evidence that Action 7 has discovered and based on my opinion, something's wrong," Johnson said.

The day after the shooting Florence Police Chief Anson Shells defended officer Ussery's actions. He said he believed Ussery was in danger and felt threatened. He also said he believed the SLED investigation would show that Ussery acted appropriately.

Following the statements by Robinson and Johnson Wednesday, Shells repeated his defense of Ussery and said he trusted the SLED investigation to determine if anything was done wrong.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • SC students seek $55M in damages, say dorms had toxic mold

    SC students seek $55M in damages, say dorms had toxic mold

    Sunday, November 19 2017 3:55 PM EST2017-11-19 20:55:44 GMT
    (Source: Morris College Facebook)(Source: Morris College Facebook)

    Five current and former students are seeking $55 million in damages in a lawsuit that says they were exposed to toxic mold while living in three dormitories at a South Carolina college. Multiple media outlets report the five have sued Morris College, a historically black liberal arts college in Sumter. 

    More >>

    Five current and former students are seeking $55 million in damages in a lawsuit that says they were exposed to toxic mold while living in three dormitories at a South Carolina college. Multiple media outlets report the five have sued Morris College, a historically black liberal arts college in Sumter. 

    More >>
  • FBI recognizes several Conway police officers after CresCom Bank investigation

    FBI recognizes several Conway police officers after CresCom Bank investigation

    Sunday, November 19 2017 2:44 PM EST2017-11-19 19:44:53 GMT
    (Source: Conway Police Department Facebook)(Source: Conway Police Department Facebook)

    On Thursday, the FBI presented several Conway Police Department Detectives with FBI Director's Certificates “to recognize their excellent performance during the murder investigation at CresCom Bank"

    More >>

    On Thursday, the FBI presented several Conway Police Department Detectives with FBI Director's Certificates “to recognize their excellent performance during the murder investigation at CresCom Bank"

    More >>
  • Florence woman charged with felony DUI resulting in death after causing fatal accident

    Florence woman charged with felony DUI resulting in death after causing fatal accident

    Sunday, November 19 2017 11:34 AM EST2017-11-19 16:34:00 GMT
    Miranda Sabb (Source: Florence County Detention Center)Miranda Sabb (Source: Florence County Detention Center)

    A Florence County woman is behind bars after driving under the influence and causing a fatal accident early Sunday morning, according to LcPl. Matt Southern with South Carolina Highway Patrol. The accident happened on Whippoorwill Road in Florence County around 12:40 a.m. 32-year-old Miranda Sabb was driving a 2008 Saturn eastbound on Whippoorwill Road when she collided with a 1995 Ford Explorer travelling westbound. The driver of the Ford Explorer was pr...

    More >>

    A Florence County woman is behind bars after driving under the influence and causing a fatal accident early Sunday morning, according to LcPl. Matt Southern with South Carolina Highway Patrol. The accident happened on Whippoorwill Road in Florence County around 12:40 a.m. 32-year-old Miranda Sabb was driving a 2008 Saturn eastbound on Whippoorwill Road when she collided with a 1995 Ford Explorer travelling westbound. The driver of the Ford Explorer was pr...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly