Sheriff’s office disputes excessive force claim

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office released a video Monday night of an incident that occurred between a deputy and a student in a Washington High School classroom.

Tiesherah Smith, 16, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest the afternoon of May 19, after deputies responded to the high school because of a teacher’s complaint of a disorderly student, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Monday, Smith’s parents filed a complaint with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office for what they said was use of excessive force against their daughter by the deputy during the May 19 incident. Smith’s parents, Jermaine Ebron and Tieshe Archie, produced a four-second video clip of the incident, in which a deputy is seen shoving Smith and Smith falls to the floor. The meeting at the sheriff’s office ended with Ebron being escorted from the premises.

Multiple attempts to contact Tieshe Archie via a local telephone listing were unsuccessful.

According to Chief Deputy Charlie Rose, the four-second clip did not show the true nature of the incident.

“We felt we needed to get it out there — the longer video, not the edited video — that show what was going on leading up to it,” Rose said.

The sheriff’s office obtained a court order and presented it to Beaufort County Schools to release the video recording of the incident.

The footage showed Smith yelling, using profane language, bumping into a student and striking another male. After viewing the footage, deputies added the charge of assault to those filed against Smith.

To view the video on the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office website, click HERE. Warning: the video contains explicit language.

Rose said the altercation between Smith, the teacher and classmates started because the teacher told Smith she needed to have written permission to wear gym clothes in the regular classroom. On her way out, other students starting making comments and Smith responded with aggression, Rose said.

Sheriff Ernie Coleman said the deputy did the right thing by intervening with physical force in order to stop the incident from escalating further.

“After failing to listen to teachers, administrators and law enforcement officers’ lawful commands, then attempting to aggressively approach other students to assault them, the deputy did the right thing by intervening with physical force to stop the assaults from continuing,” Coleman stated in the press release. “My deputy used the least amount of force necessary to stop the violence and reestablish order.  No injuries occurred, and Smith was placed into custody.”