Saturday, February 25, 2012

Death of a Slain Officer Hits Home

This is an editorial that I sent into the newspaper and that was chosen to be printed this week. I wanted to share this article with everyone. I am very proud of it.

Death of Slain Officer Hits Home

The magnitude of violence that transpired over the Christmas holiday here in Aiken SC was nothing but horrific as the residence in my small town settled in for a merry Christmas season.

On December 20th 2011 a simple traffic stop on Brandt Ct at the Paces Run apartment complex here in Aiken SC turned into a tragic murder for one of Aiken’s finest police officers.  Officer Scotty Richardson, a lifelong resident of Aiken, was murdered by accused killer 19yo Stephon Carter. 

Contrary to what the local papers has printed about this story through my own investigative efforts I uncovered more to this event than what was conveyed. 

At 8:58pm Officer Travis Griffin and Scotty Richardson responded to shots being fired from 750 Teague St.  Again through my own investigation I discovered the shots came from Columbia Ave a couple of hundred feet away from this address.  The reason this address was given to the police is because the neighbor of the residents at this address had previous conflicts and the police were called several times as a harassment tactic in the past using unfounded complaints according to the residence at 750 Teague St.  In other words a neighbor’s quarrel was the ignition to this young man’s situation with the police that night.

The residents at 750 Teague St personally knew Stephon Carter and also knew that it was Stephon Carter shooting a firearm on Columbia Ave.  He was shooting at a young man only known on the streets as Juice.  This young man is from New Ellenton SC which is about 30 minutes past the south side of my hometown of Aiken.  It has been said that Stephon Carter and this unknown man “Juice” had previous unarmed violent confrontations in a neighborhood area in New Ellenton SC.

The two officers did get a description of the car that sped away from the disturbance which was a black Cheverlot Impala.  This same Impala was stopped thirty minutes later at Brandt Ct where the Paces Run apartment complex is located.  Thanks a resident at this complex who saw the whole incident and wanted to remain anonymous Officer Scotty Richardson approached the car and only asked for Stephon Carter to step out of the vehicle. No police procedure was used to approach this so called “dangerous individual” nor was extreme caution exercised during the stop. Officer Scotty Richardson was accompanied by Officer Travis Griffin and later by Officer Tracy Seymour.

According to sources the accused, after being the only one asked to step out of the car, suddenly pulled a gun out which preceded to turn into a gun fight with hail of bullet in the crossfire. Officer Griffin was shot in the chest, Officer Seymour was not injured at all and of course Officer Richardson lost his life in the line of duty.

Stephon Carter at the time was out on bail for two prior gun charges he recently received which made this whole situation quite confusing for me. If taken in he would have just served a few years for this recent charge and maybe acquired a separate charge for shooting a firearm in public. What possessed Stephon Carter to resist rational thought and hastily pull out a gun that resulted in the loss of a person’s life and mostly likely at the cost his own?

Again though confidential individuals that personally know Stephon Cater it was said that he had traumatic experiences in jail, with harsh and aggressive engagements from the same law enforcement that has sworn to protect us.  On occasion guns were pulled on Stephon Carter and questions were asked later.  Also it has been said that the bullets that killed Officer Scotty Richardson did not match the gun seized from the accused during the time of his arrest and the murder weapon cannot be found.  Without any physical evidence Solicitor Strom Thurmond will have a perfect case for the death penalty with several eye witnesses to the case at hand.

Whether Stephon Carter is guilty or not will be for a jury to decide. What is my responsibility after receiving a mysterious phone call communicating to me the disapproval from several in the community asking me in their own words “Why would I make a human out of a monster?”

To answer that question “We all are of the same race and I have the ability to be thy neighbor when comes your time to need me.”

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