Volunteer constable shoots black motorist in South Carolina

A volunteer police officer in South Carolina fired as many as eight bullets at a black driver who refused to get out of his vehicle during a traffic stop and appeared to be looking for something inside, a prosecutor said.

Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela said he's considering whether to release dashboard or body camera video at a 1 p.m. Tuesday news conference.

The driver survived his wounds and was released from the hospital on Monday, authorities said.

The white constable was riding along with a Florence police officer Saturday night, and the mayor and police chief immediately sought to clear the city of responsibility, saying the city officer did not fire. But they also released few details about the shooting.

Authorities haven't said why the driver was pulled over. Both the officer and constable ordered the man to get out of his car, and the constable fired up to eight shots as the driver appeared to be looking for something in his car, Solicitor Ed Clements told several television stations.

Clements will likely decide whether to charge the constable once the State Law Enforcement Division investigation into the shooting is finished.

The constable has been suspended from his volunteer duties meanwhile. Authorities have not released the identities of any of the people involved.

The volunteer officer who shot the driver is an advanced constable, which requires about 85 hours of training, said Thom Berry, a spokesman for the state law enforcement agency.

Constables can be armed, but don't have arrest power under South Carolina law unless working under the supervision of a law enforcement agency.


Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com