Sheriff: Ex-deputy defaced a poster, stole double-sided tape from victim
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Richland County Sheriff's deputy finds himself arrested, charged, and without a job over a piece of tape, according to Sheriff Leon Lott.
Former Deputy Kaleb Broome, who was with the department for almost two years, has been charged with misconduct in office and turned himself in to deputies on Tuesday.
Broome, according to Lott, responded to assist a victim involved in a domestic dispute when he allegedly defaced a poster inside the victim's garage, turning it into a racial slur, and stole a piece of double-sided tape.
"I know it may seem very small and insignificant -- the fact that he took a piece of tape that's probably valued at less than ten cents," Lott said. "It's the fact that he stole something."
Lott said Broom offered no explanation on why he stole the tape other than he wanted to use it to stick driver licenses on his computer as he ran them in his patrol vehicle.
Lott said that during the domestic dispute, as deputies helped the victim, Broome circled Nigeria on a poster map of Africa and turned it into a racial slur.
Broome was immediately fired from the sheriff's department and arrested. He has already been released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.
"When he took that piece of tape, he crossed the line," the sheriff said. "He tarnished the badge."
Lott, who called the incident "stupid," pointed out that the majority of officers in Richland County and across the United Stated are good, responsible cops.
"The deputy that was with him, that saw him do it, told him not to do it," Lott said. "And he went ahead and did it. That deputy went ahead and reported it."
"We do have bad cops," Lott said. "Nothing hurts a good cop worse than a bad cop. And the good cops stand up tall and they do what's necessary to make sure that we get these bad cops out of our ranks."
Broome was a deputy with the department for two years and had a clean record until this incident.
If convicted, Broome could face up to a year in prison on the charge.
Broome is a former member of the Gamecocks football team and served as a backup for two seasons.
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