Florence Co. Sheriff Kenney Boone has released a statement into an incident this week in Florence where several people accused a deputy of using excessive force on a man they were trying to arrest:
“Yesterday (Sunday) morning Florence County Sheriff’s Office deputies were involved in an encounter with an individual at a convenience store located on East Palmetto Street, Florence, SC. According to the Incident Report, the subject approached a deputy at the convenience store acting strangely and asking for a ride to Mullins, SC. When the deputy told the subject that she was unable to honor that request, the subject was not pleased, but walked away. Shortly thereafter, a FCSO supervisor arrived and noticed the subject interact with a store customer, who looked at him as if he needed assistance as the subject walked back into the store. The supervisor approached the subject for a consensual encounter, at which time the subject repeated his request for a ride to Mullins, SC. The supervisor asked if the subject had any identification and he said he did not. When the supervisor attempted to run his information through Central Dispatch, the subject became disorderly and began cursing loudly. The subject ignored repeated requests to calm down. While being detained for further questioning, the subject refused to follow reasonable verbal instructions and resisted officer’s attempts to properly detain him, forcing the officer to take the subject to the ground. The subject continued to resist and threatened to kill the officers involved in the incident. The subject was not injured but was taken into custody. Tyler Fleming, age 34, of 227 Johnson Street, Marion, SC has been charged with Breach of Peace, Resisting Arrest and Threatening the Life of a Public Employee. He is being held at the Florence County Detention Center on a $3872 surety bond.
Certain photographs of this encounter taken by citizens have been circulated on social media. While the photographs we have seen so far are selective and limited in nature, they are concerning to us. Public confidence that we discharge our law enforcement duties in a fair and impartial manner is essential to our mission, and we are investigating to determine what happened in this case. Once the investigation is concluded, we will report our findings. While that investigation is going on however, we ask that the public reserve judgement until all of the facts are known.
Kenney Boone, Sheriff ”