Florence residents express feelings on constable-involved shooting

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The city of Florence, along with Helping Florence Flourish, held a listening session Monday night over the recent constable- involved shooting.

Last month, 28-year-old Brandon Fludd was shot by state constable Christopher Bachochin during a traffic stop on Waverly Avenue. Dash cam video of that night released by the city showed Fludd backing up towards officers moments before Bachochin fired eight shots.

"As the days have passed, this has still been a matter that's on our mind," Mayor Stephen Wukela said opening the session.

During the meeting, city officials addressed the roles of state constables and their relationship with the city, something officials wanted to make clear to the community.

"That's not intuitively obvious to everyone and so the more we can explain, the better off we are," Wukela said.

Many residents had different opinions. Some questioned the training of state constables. President Madie Robinson of the Florence NAACP says she showed up to know more about the policies of the constables.

"As you look around this country overall, where almost daily there is violence, naturally the community will be in an uproar… or the community would be concerned," Robinson said.

Other residents, like David Lawson, a retired state constable, talked about the importance of people knowing what to do when stopped by a police officer. Lawson said through his years of riding with officers, five have been shot.

"The use of deadly force is something that no officer wants to use and when I heard about it I felt sick to my stomach," Lawson said

While many people's concerns were addressed, some left with unanswered questions they hope the investigation will cover.

"What was going through that constable's mind that caused him to draw on the individual? So, I think there's still a lot of questions that cause people to ponder," Robinson said.

Wukela said right now, the city is looking at changing constable policies, like whether they should be allowed to ride with officers.

He said meetings like this and hearing from the community helps decide what's best for the community.

"I think it's important for the city leaders to hear these concerns - we share these concerns as we try to evaluate those policies going forward," Wukela said.

Mayor Wukela says right now, no state constable is involved with the police department while SLED investigates.

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