SLED investigation into HCPD to stay open while cases go to court

SLED investigation into HCPD to stay open while cases go to court

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - SLED's investigation into the Horry County Police Department will stay open while the four officers who have been indicted are taken to court, according to Thom Berry, of SLED.

Berry said SLED opened the investigation in November 2015 after receiving requests from Solicitor Jimmy Richardson and former Police Chief Saundra Rhodes.

However, before the SLED investigation began, WMBF News Investigates uncovered reports of potential misconduct within the department involving former Detective Daryl Williams.

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WMBF News learned at the time of an HCPD internal investigation that revealed Williams didn't properly investigate 88 cases that were assigned to him. Within those case files were 123 victims awaiting justice.

Among the many cases, the internal investigation said Williams accepted a mother's theory that her infant's leg broke in his sleep when doctors had said the broken bone was likely caused by his own parent.  Another case involving two young girls who said their own father abused and raped them was closed and no arrests were made.

WMBF News found out the police department reopened many of Williams cases.

One woman's case was reassigned and a man was arrested July 2015 in her kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and assault.

However, that man's charges were dismissed in July 2016.

At the time of the WMBF News investigation into Williams, that woman questioned why Williams wasn't fired.

Disciplinary records show he was suspended for two days in 2013 for not completing or turning in an investigation report. Then in 2014, he was demoted to patrol officer for violating a policy about take home vehicles. After that, WMBF News found out he resigned.

Williams had filed a lawsuit against HCPD because he said he wasn't promoted based on race and religion.

That lawsuit was dismissed in July 2016 due to lack of prosecution.

The attorney who filed it, Bonnie Hunt, was dismissed as his attorney, according to a receptionist.

Another former HCPD employee facing indictments is Luke Green, who faces three counts of misconduct in office for two inappropriate sexual relationships with confidential informants and also for inappropriate sexual contact with a suspect during a prostitution arrest.

No record of those incidents were in his in his disciplinary history provided by Horry County and shared with WMBF News by news partner, but the information did include an unrelated discipline report from 2006 claiming Green allegedly said, "there is no place for women in law enforcement except for dispatch."

The disciplinary report said Green made the comment in an apparent joking manner with a female officer, but was overheard by a female officer who took offense to it. The supervisor wrote while Green made the alleged comments in jest, he failed to realize his comments would or could be offensive to female officers in the immediate area.

The report said Green's comment was in violation of two policies including maintaining harmonious working relationships and displaying respect for supervisors, subordinates and associates. He received a written reprimand.
Green's attorney, Brad Richardson, said he hasn't received copies of the indictments yet, so he can't comment on them, but Green is innocent at this time.

As for the separate comment made ten years ago about females in law enforcement, Richardson said he doesn't know the full weight of the comment or what exactly was being said, but he said Green has worked closely with female officers for a number of years and has the utmost respect for all officers doing their jobs.

See previous coverage here of the unclear reasoning behind Green leaving HCPD:

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