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Crime Bodycam video shows Greenville deputy shot suspect's mother inside Greer home

19:26  04 december  2019
19:26  04 december  2019 Source:   greenvilleonline.com

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a view of a living room: Body camera footage released Wednesday shows the events that unfolded during an Oct. 20 shooting involving a Greenville County deputy.© Provided/Greenville County Sheriff's Office Body camera footage released Wednesday shows the events that unfolded during an Oct. 20 shooting involving a Greenville County deputy.

Newly released body camera footage shows a Greenville County Sheriff's Office deputy shot a shoplifting suspect's mother during a heated confrontation inside a Greer home.

The mother remains hospitalized a month and a half after the Oct. 20 incident, according to the suspect's attorney.

The deputy did not violate department policy, according to the Sheriff's Office.

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The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the case.

The footage posted on YouTube by the Sheriff's Office Wednesday morning shows the deputy confronting the suspect in front of his mother's home at 522 Cliffview Court.

The suspect, 40-year-old Sean Theodore Kaiser, refused to go into custody and retreated back inside, where the deputy followed.

Kaiser was not armed. He said to the female deputy, "don't touch me" and "I'm stronger than you."

After several minutes of negotiating and attempting to put Kaiser in handcuffs, the footage shows, Kaiser grabbed the deputy's arm, shoved her and put his body on top of her until she broke free a moment later.

The deputy then backed up, drew her firearm and shouted at Kaiser's mother, who had moved in to intervene.

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The mother, identified by the suspect's attorney as Dianne Maros, stood with Kaiser and asked the deputy to wait for other deputies to arrive. The deputy shouted "no" several times with her handgun still drawn.

"Back away," she shouted at the mother repeatedly. "Do not tell me what to do."

Kaiser then stood up and charged the deputy when the deputy fired one shot, striking Kaiser's mother, who was standing behind him.

The deputy then fired another round that did not strike anyone, and then she and Kaiser tussled until they both fell on the floor.

An arrest warrant lists Ashley Cure as the deputy involved. Cure did not immediately respond to an email and Facebook message seeking comment. Records obtained from the state Criminal Justice Academy show that Cure's first and only law-enforcement job has been with the Sheriff's Office. She was hired by the agency in September 2018 and completed her basic training in February.

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The Sheriff's Office has declined to identify the deputy before SLED completes its investigation of the incident. The deputy was placed on leave following the shooting. The internal affairs investigation, which looks for policy violations, concluded last week, and the deputy was cleared of any wrongdoing, said Lt. Ryan Flood.

She is currently on administrative duty. She will assume her regular duties soon, Flood said.

"She's on admin duty, which is a method we started to implement to help prepare the deputy after going through an experience like that to get back on the road," Flood said.

On the scene after the shooting, while sitting on the floor near the deputy, Kaiser said, "Did you (expletive) hurt my mother? You don't hurt my mother."

The mother sat down on an armchair after being wounded.

Seconds later, another deputy came in the front door of the home, kicked Kaiser and placed him into custody.

"Where's the gun? Does he have a gun?" the second deputy asked before the deputy involved in the shooting said the only gun involved was hers.

a man smiling for the camera: Sean Theodore Kaiser© Provided/Greenville County Detention Center Sean Theodore Kaiser

Kaiser's mother is still recovering in a hospital after undergoing at least 10 procedures, said Jake Erwin, a Greenville-based attorney representing Kaiser for his criminal charges.

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"There’s lots of bad behavior all over this video, but the reason she's hurt, the reason this poor woman is in the hospital, is because of how the officer acted," Erwin said.

The deputy suffered a concussion and was treated at a hospital, said Capt. Tim Brown of the Sheriff's Office's Office of Professional Standards.

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Kaiser was later charged with resisting arrest with assault, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and shoplifting. He remains in the Greenville County jail without bond.

"He feels helpless in this situation," Erwin said.

A review of Kaiser's criminal history obtained from SLED shows charges from the Oct. 20 incident are his only criminal offenses in South Carolina.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

The Greenville News has submitted public records requests for the internal affairs investigative file, incident reports and Cure's personnel file.

Erwin, after reviewing the video for the first time Wednesday, said the deputy's actions and escalation led to the shooting of an innocent bystander.

"It is clear to me that this officer, whoever she is, is either new or she’s poorly trained or something, because there is no way she should have escalated that situation the way she did," Erwin said. "The moment that he goes back into house, she calls for backup. She knows backup is coming — why is she continuing to escalate the situation?"

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Erwin said Kaiser was clearly having a mental-health crisis when the deputy arrived.

"He is fragile," Erwin said. "This is the exact scenario for what this (mental-health) training is for. It’s exactly to prevent what happened here, where a mental-health crisis escalates into an unnecessarily violent incident."

The shooting was the agency's fifth so far this year. The Sheriff's Office has seen more officer-involved shootings than any other agency across South Carolina in recent years. An investigation by The Greenville News found that deputies in Greenville County handled more than 31 shootings in a 10-year span, averaging about five shootings per year.

Each deputy involved in the other shootings so far this year was cleared of wrongdoing by internal reviews and SLED investigations.

This is a developing story that will be updated. Check back for more.

Daniel J. Gross is an investigative watchdog reporter focusing on public safety and law enforcement for The Greenville News. Reach him at dgross@greenvillenews.com or on Twitter @danieljgross.

This article originally appeared on The Greenville News: Bodycam video shows Greenville deputy shot suspect's mother inside Greer home

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