An Aiken County deputy is unemployed and under investigation by SLED for firing at a car that left a traffic stop on Tuesday.
Deputy Christopher Williams violated the agency’s Use of Force policy by fired his weapon during a confrontation with driver Brittany Norton, sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah said. The officer was fired on Wednesday. He had been with the agency since December 2021.
A newly-released sheriff’s report spells out what happened after Deputy Williams pulled Norton over on Schley Street in Warrenville. The officer said he observed the woman fail to maintain lane.
From the report: “Dep. Williams made a traffic stop at the intersection of Schley Street and Howlandville Rd. Upon approach of the vehicle Dep. Williams met with the driver/subject and sole occupant of the vehicle to get her driver’s license. Dep. Williams immediately could detect a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle. Dep. Williams asked the subject to step out of the vehicle and when she refused he opened the door to make her step out of the vehicle.
“The subject started to fight with Dep. Williams and started to drive off with him still in the vehicle. Dep. Williams fired one shot into the vehicle striking the rear post of the SUV. The driver then fled the scene driving up Schley Street. Dep. Williams followed in behind the subject who was now failing to stop for blue lights. Dep. Muszall was arriving as the pursuit continued up Schley Street. The subject then pulled off on the side of the road in the 200 block of Schley Street. The subject was detained without incident.
“Search incident to arrest found two blue in color pills with the numbers B706 later identified as Alprazolam, a Schedule IV substance in a tan pill bottle in the front passenger seat. Upon R/O arrival, R/O inspected the vehicle and found a single gunshot to the rear of the vehicle and a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.”
Capt. Abdullah confirmed on Thursday that Deputy Williams was the same officer who arrested Norton in the past for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. That charge was later dismissed, according to online records.
Norton is free on bond in this case, charged with failure to stop for blue light and possession of a controlled substance. A family member went on Facebook to claim that Norton was simply trying to drive to a safer location and was worried after being handled roughly by this officer in the past.
The sheriff’s office plans to wait until after the SLED investigation is complete to release body-cam and dash cam video from the incident.
“With Intent to Distribute” charges DROPPED ? Was this case bound over to be processed by the Richmond County Judicial Circuit (across State lines) ? While I understand weed possession is being decriminalized in time, ITD should still be prosecuted, UNLESS beneficial “Food Chain” information is provided. While Body-Cam footage may change my opinion, but right this minute, this LEO already had “exposure” to this felon and I am not convinced he was actually wrong. As has been seen on “COPS”, and “On Patrol Live” LEOS have been caught/drug by felons in vehicles. Former Deputy Williams — There are other agencies nearby, WITH openings.
The only reason I can think of why they would fire him is that he shot after he was clear of the car, therefor the threat of harm to him was eliminated. That said, just look at what a Rochmond County deputy has been dealing with for years after being dragged by a suspect while in contact with a suspect’s car… This sounds like a political termination and not a common sense one. Who does she know or is related to???
I wish there was an edit button to fix typos…