DPS releases more controversial tapes - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

DPS releases more controversial tapes

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Department of Public Safety on Friday released dozens more tapes showing state troopers in questionable circumstances.
    
They are the latest in a string of controversial tapes released by the department since February.
    
In two of the previously released tapes you can see troopers hit suspects with cars. In another, you can hear a trooper use a racial slur.
    
A fourth shows a woman handcuffed to the bumper of a patrol cruiser.

Another video shows a high speed chase on April 26, 2006 in Charleston County.

The incident was reviewed by the highway patrol because of the way the officer handled it. That officer was sent to counseling.

Another video is from Spartanburg County, February 24, 2005. Lance Corp. D.l. Chapman was indicted on charges of misconduct and assault and battery.
   
He pled guilty to the misconduct charges and was given four years probation. He retired and the assault charge was dropped.
  
These are just two of 27 tapes released by the department. We asked Sid Gaulden, the public information officer for the Department of Public Safety, why these tapes are just now being released.

"Why weren't they released? Because nobody asked for them. Did you ask for them four years ago? Did anybody in the media ask for them? If anybody had asked for them they would have been released," Gaulden said.

Gaulden did say the tapes are copies requested by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    
The tapes will also likely become part of the confirmation process for Mark Keel, nominated to be the new DPS Director. 
    
Gaulden insists his department has nothing to hide.

"We're not trying to cover that up by putting all these tapes out and everything else and doing these investigations. We found there was a problem and we took action," Gaulden says.

We asked Mark Keel if he would comment on these new tapes. We were told Keel has not seen them and will not comment.

Reported by Brandi Cummings

Reported by Logan Smith

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