Couple alleges illegal detainment after early morning raid
Police illegally detained a South Carolina man and woman when they raided the sleeping couple's home outside of their jurisdiction in the middle of the night, a lawsuit alleges.
Officers with the Holly Hill and Santee Police Departments took Shane Glover and Codie Fuller at gunpoint outside their Orangeburg County house on Aug. 2, 2020, where they handcuffed them unclothed, the couple alleged in complaints filed Tuesday. Officers placed Fuller in a patrol car while they questioned Glover.
"(Fuller) was eventually removed from the police cruiser, uncuffed and allowed to go free, but only after being humiliated, physically accosted, effectively kidnapped without legal justification, and permanently injured by the actions of the agents, employees, and representatives of Holly Hill and Santee," a complaint alleges.
Justin Bamberg, the couple's lawyer, said the raid — made without any outstanding warrants — constitutes an "illegal kidnapping."
It's unclear what prompted the raid. Neither department immediately responded to requests for comment. In body camera footage released Wednesday by Bamberg, one officer says he came to ask about Glover's dogs.
Prior to the raid, Holly Hill police officer Jermaine Smith had spoken with Fuller about the sale of one of Glover's puppies, according to the lawsuit. The couple alleges that Smith also asked Fuller, who is white, why she was dating Glover, who is Black.
After Glover heard about Smith's alleged inquiries, he said he called the police supervisor, wanting to ask Smith about the officer's "inappropriate personal comments."
"I was going to start by asking him what's the problem between me and him," Glover told officers, according to bodycam footage. "Why is he talking about, 'I'm not a good man to my woman?'"
It was after Glover attempted to contact the police that the couple alleges Smith and other officers arrived. Police came around 2:30 a.m. with guns drawn, including an AR-15, the lawsuit said. Throughout the video, Glover denies officers' suggestions that he threatened the police on that call.
While police questioned Glover, Fuller alleges she was "locked in a police cruiser unable to move" where officers "made it clear that one wrong move would result in her or her boyfriend being shot and subjected to deadly use-of-force." She can be heard screaming in the video as she is taken off camera while dogs bark.
The couple charges the towns of Holly Hill and Santee with false imprisonment, civil conspiracy, defamation and violations of the state constitution.
Officers failed to complete any paperwork about the incident until Glover made an official complaint on the morning of Aug. 2, 2020, according to the lawsuit.
Bamberg said he will hold the police departments accountable for this "illegal behavior."
"Law enforcement officers who are operating outside of their lawful jurisdiction without an arrest or search warrant cannot hold innocent people against their will," Bamberg said in a statement. "Our citizens and law enforcement deserve better."