S.C. Officer Fired for DUI In Patrol Car
June 05, 2012
A Cheraw (S.C.) Police officer lost his job Sunday, after he was pulled over for driving drunk in his unmarked patrol vehicle.
Officer David Watson was pulled over at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday morning by Chesterfield Police officers, and declined a breathalyzer and field sobriety test.
Officer Watson has been fired, reports WPDE.
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John @ 6/6/2012 5:21 AM
You have to ask yourself, what was this guy thinking? More of this type of stupidity is why so many departments are yanking the take home cars.
easy610 @ 6/6/2012 8:23 AM
John, Exactly. Its a culture at some PDs that a wink and a nod is all officers who DUI get. I;ve seen it change in the 16 yrs I've been in uniform.
NOT NOT NOT worth it. Drink at home!
RELVIS @ 11/16/2012 5:58 PM
PART 1 of 2
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT NAMED IN WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
Editor – The Link
The family of former Cheraw police detective David Watson has filed a civil rights violation and wrongful death lawsuit against the Chesterfield Police Department, S.C. Department of Public Safety and three individual officers present when Watson was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol June 2
Watson committed suicide Aug. 29, and the DUI charges against him were dismissed Sept. 19 due to his death. In Watson’s suicide note, he specifically stated he was taking his life in part because of the loss of his career. Watson was dismissed from his position with the Cheraw Police Department within 24 hours of his arrest for DUI.
According to claims filed in the lawsuit last Friday, Watson’s family states officers lacked probable cause for stopping and arresting Watson on June 2. It cites as proof an administrative hearing Aug. 14 at which Administrative Hearing Officer Phil Addington ruled there was not sufficient evidence for Watson’s license to remain suspended while he awaited trial for the DUI. Watson’s attorney, JR Joyner, also pleaded that a trial be held Sept. 19 where facts could be presented to prove Watson’s innocence of the charges; however, a judge denied Joyner’s request for a trial and chose to dismiss the case because Watson was deceased.
RELVIS @ 11/16/2012 6:01 PM
Part 2 of 2
At the Aug. 14 license hearing, Adams stated his initial reason for stopping Watson was because Watson’s Cheraw Police Department patrol car matched the description of a suspicious vehicle parked in the Bojangles parking lot. Watson’s attorney argued that according to the Supreme Court of the United States, the report of a suspicious vehicle does not warrant probable cause for a traffic stop; therefore, Joyner said, Adams had no proof of Watson’s breaking any laws that would warrant him being stopped by police.
Adams countered by saying, “The stop was just for ID. And in the state of South Carolina, we as police officers have the right to stop anybody on the street for an ID or ID anybody who is in a suspicious manner. Then when the smell of alcohol (came) from the vehicle, it changed to a DUI stop.”
Addington lifted Watson’s license suspension, saying the only proof he had been presented was that Watson was driving a white car at the time of his arrest, which was the same color of the vehicle reported as being suspicious.
The lawsuit filed last Friday also accuses Adams, Hewitt and S.C. Highway Patrolman Leslie Davis of conspiring against Watson prior to Watson’s arrest.
According to records filed with the lawsuit from the Aug. 14 hearing, Adams said he did not know who had called 911 to report a suspicious vehicle at Bojangles. According to E-911 records cited in the lawsuit, Davis called 911 at 10:49 p.m. and asked specifically for Adams. Phone records included in the lawsuit also show Davis talked to Adams and Hewitt by phone prior to calling 911 to report the suspicious vehicle.
According to a copy of the 911 transcript, Davis informs a dispatcher that his grandmother was at Bojangles in Chesterfield and was concerned about a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot. The lawsuit later cites proof that Davis’ maternal and paternal grandmothers are both deceased.
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