Former Lexington County detention officer charged with misconduct

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Lexington County officials have charged a former detention officer with misconduct in office following multiple altercations with inmates in 2017.

William Emerson Keel, Jr., 29, applied a neck restraint to an inmate causing the inmate to lose consciousness, according to officials. Keel had not be trained to use that level of force and failed to provide medical aid to the inmate.

Keel was also involved in another altercation with two other inmates. Keel failed to report the altercations in a timely manner.

"Immediately after we became aware of these events, we launched an internal review of Keel's interaction with inmates," Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. "Once we determined potential criminal activity took place, we called in the State Law Enforcement Division, as is our standard procedure. We do that when a current or former employee is involved to ensure an unbiased and thorough investigation."

Keel was terminated on October 20 for violating department policy, almost a full year after he was hired in October of 2016.

Keel turned himself in to SLED agents and was booked into the Lexington County Detention Center. He was released after on his own recognizance.

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