CPD fires officer for ‘unsatisfactory performance’

CPD fires officer for ‘unsatisfactory performance’
Sean Rollins, in sunglasses, is seen holding a non-lethal weapon during a protest near the State House. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department has fired one of its officers for “unsatisfactory performance,” officials said Friday.

Officer Sean Rollins was fired Feb. 17.

Rollins is named in a lawsuit against the department for shooting Sir Brandon Legette in 2019.

Legette’s attorney released footage of the incident in June 2020, when the lawsuit was filed. CPD quickly released its own footage and backed up Rollins, saying Legette and his attorney were “misrepresenting the facts.”

SLED investigated the incident and Solicitor Byron Gipson reviewed SLED’s report.

Gipson found that Rollins acted in accordance to the law and that his use of force was “reasonably necessary in light of the circumstances.”

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Rollins caught public attention again when video surfaced of him shooting protesters at the State House with bean bag rounds in May 2020. The protesters were gathering against police brutality.

Protesters called for Rollins to be fired at that time, and even started an online petition about it.

It’s not clear if any of these incidents directly led to his firing, but according to a report from The Post and Courier, Rollins “used force on suspects at a rate that was far higher than the rest of the department.”

The Post and Courier’s investigation revealed Rollins “struck, forcibly subdued or used his stun gun on no fewer than eight people over five months,” while “Columbia officers average less than one use-of-force case in a year.”

This story will be updated.

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