Attorney asks court to drop charges against SC NAACP President - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Attorney releases video, asks court to drop charges against SC NAACP President

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Surveillance photo of Dr. Randolph's arrest Surveillance photo of Dr. Randolph's arrest
Dr. Lonnie Randolph Dr. Lonnie Randolph

The attorney representing South Carolina NAACP President Dr. Lonnie Randolph has asked a court to drop criminal charges against him stemming from an incident at a Columbia dry cleaner.

Attorney Joe McCulloch filed a motion to dismiss the charges Thursday in Columbia Municipal Court. A hearing is scheduled for Friday morning.

"This motion is based upon historic proof of the accused's history of diabetes," read the motion filed Thursday along with medical documentation and affidavits describing Randolph's affliction.

On July 12, Randolph was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after a confrontation at Tripp's Cleaners in Five Points. An employee called police, saying Randolph refused to pay his bill and would not to leave.

McCulloch also released surveillance video of the incident.

The video, which was taken from a security camera pointing toward Harden Street, shows Randolph's strange behavior as he encounters two Columbia police officers in the drive-through area just outside the store.

On the left Randolph is seen staggering from side to side as he is approached by one of the officers.

Police said Randolph had become boisterous inside the store, refusing to pay his bill or to leave when ordered by an employee.

The video shows police struggling with Randolph in front of an SUV, forcing him to the pavement and trying to get his hands behind him.

Randolph suffered a facial injury during the arrest, and some damage to his teeth.

A short time later, Randolph, now in handcuffs, resists being placed in a patrol car.

Police say during that part of the arrest they used force-- striking him twice in the leg and once in the chest before they were able to put Randolph in the back seat.

Randolph was taken to a nearby hospital, but refused treatment. McCulloch claims Randolph suffers from diabetes, which caused him to behave irrationally.

"These diabetic events are no more predictable than a migraine, epileptic seizure, or hiccups which may all have 'triggers' which the individual is not able to anticipate," read the motion.

The motion continued: "The scene from Steele (sic) Magnolias (a fictional account based on the author's real-life loss of his sister from diabetes) where Julia Roberts suffers such a hypoglycemic diabetic episode is illustrative of what happens to diabetics in this condition who, through no fault of their own, experience confusion or worse."

The incident report shows Randolph was "field booked" and released with approval from Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago. Santiago later said he believes dismissing the charges is the right thing to do in light of Randolph's struggle with diabetes.

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