(NEW YORK) — A South Carolina police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter after fatally shooting an unarmed man who led her on a high-speed pursuit, authorities said.
The incident began early Sunday, when Hemingway Police Officer Cassandra Dollard, 52, attempted to pull over 46-year-old Robert Langley for “disregarding a stop sign” in Williamsburg County at 1:24 a.m., according to an arrest warrant.
Langley “failed to stop” and a chase ensued, according to the warrant. After allegedly traveling over 100 mph, Langley crashed his car into a ditch in neighboring Georgetown County at around 1:30 a.m., according to the warrant.
Langley attempted to exit the car through the front passenger door and Dollard fired her gun once, striking him in the chest, according to the warrant.
Dollard reportedly told investigators she fired her gun because she was “in fear for her safety,” according to the warrant.
“Dollard stated she did not identify a weapon in Langley’s hands, nor was a weapon recovered at the scene,” South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agent Ashley Jolda said in the arrest warrant affidavit, which noted that Dollard had no authority to arrest Langley outside of Williamsburg County.
Langley was transported to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries, authorities said. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning, the Georgetown County Coroner’s Office said.
Dollard was arrested Wednesday afternoon by SLED agents and booked into the Georgetown County Detention Center. Her bond hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, according to Charleston, South Carolina, ABC affiliate WCIV. It is unclear if she has an attorney.
SLED agents are seeking to conduct interviews with potential witnesses and are collecting evidence as part of their investigation into the shooting, the agency said.
The Hemingway Police Department said following the shooting that it is in “full cooperation with SLED” during the investigation and referred all questions to the agency.
SLED said it is not releasing any additional information on the case at this time.
An attorney for Langley’s family said prosecutors showed them dashcam video of the deadly encounter Wednesday morning.
“We do know that Robert Langley should be alive today,” attorney Bakari Sellers said during a press conference held hours before Dollard’s arrest. “We do know that he was taken from us in a cruel fashion, in an unjust fashion.”
Langley, a father of 10 and a new grandfather, “posed no threat” to the officer, according to Sellers.
“I don’t know if she was having a bad day or what, but murder should not have been on the menu,” Sellers said.
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