Richard J. Combs Indicted For Murder Of Bernard Bailey
On the same day that a grand jury declined to indict an officer for the death of Eric Garner, a jury in South Carolina decided to indict a white former police chief for a crime against an unarmed black man.
Richard J. Combs is now facing murder charges for the 2011 shooting death of Bernard Bailey.
A white former police chief in a tiny South Carolina town has been indicted on murder charges in the 2011 shooting of an unarmed black man.
The indictment Wednesday came the same day a Staten Island grand jury declined to criminally charge a white New York City police officer in the killing of Eric Garner.
In Orangeburg County, S.C., the grand jury indicted Richard J. Combs, who was the police chief in Eutawville, S.C., when he shot and killed Bernard Bailey, 54, in May 2011.
The two men struggled inside Bailey’s car after Bailey came to Town Hall to protest a broken tail light ticket issued to his daughter six weeks earlier.
Combs tried to arrest Bailey on an obstruction of justice warrant for protesting the ticket the day it was issued in March 2011, according to court testimony.
The chief then followed Bailey outside Town Hall to his truck.
Combs reached into the vehicle as Bailey sat inside.
Combs testified at a court hearing that he became tangled in the truck’s steering wheel as he tried to shut off the ignition. The truck backed up, throwing Combs to the ground, prosecutors said.
Combs, saying he feared for his life, shot Bailey twice in the chest.
Prosecutors said the chief instigated the confrontation by following Bailey to his truck.
They said Bailey never threatened or attacked the officer.
Combs faces up to 30 years to life in prison if convicted on the murder charge.
The grand jury indictment said Combs shot Bailey “with malice aforethought.”
Bail was set at $150,000.
On Nov. 25, a circuit court judge in Orangeburg denied a motion by Combs’ lawyer for a defense based on South Carolina’s “stand your ground” law.
SMH at him trying to use the stand your ground law, nice try buddy!
Also if this happened in 2011, why is this just NOW going before a grand jury????