Man Injured in Crash Dies after Cops Order him out of Ambulance into Police Car
With eight fractured ribs and a lacerated liver, Nathaniel Rhodes was lying on a stretcher in an ambulance about to be transported to the hospital following a two-car crash in South Carolina last year.
However, Charleston police arrived on the scene and found an open bottle of wine in his car, so they ordered him out of the ambulance to do a field sobriety test, which he failed, so they decided to take him to the police station to have him do a breathalyzer test.
One cop, Paul Kelly, even signed a document claiming Rhodes refused treatment, signing his own name in a space designated for "patient or guardian," according to the Post and Courier.
At the police station. Rhodes collapsed on the floor and was eventually transported to the hospital as originally intended.
He died four days later.
Charleston police have released some body cam footage from the incident that took place on August 12, 2018, but four videos have either gone missing or were deleted.
Now the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating whether the cops acted properly by signing him out of the ambulance to take him to jail instead of allowing him to be treated in the hospital.
According to Charleston City Paper:
In an email sent to Charleston County Deputy Coroner Kimberly Rhoton on Sept. 26, 2018, Charleston Police Sgt. Clifton B. Wilson said that two videos from the Rhodes incident were "lost due to software issues with our camera system." Two separate videos were labeled as "routine collision" videos and were deleted, Wilson added.
On Monday, lawyers played footage from Charleston police headquarters that showed Rhodes appearing to have difficulty breathing.
**"**Standing here watching this video, we’ve come a long way and we’ve got a long way to go," said S.C. Rep. Wendell Gilliard of Charleston, who sponsored a bill to equip South Carolina police officers with body cameras in 2015 after Walter Scott was gunned down by a North Charleston police officer. The legislation was passed into law and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley on June 10 of that year.
"I don’t understand how video gets deleted, and the timing of the deletion is very, very, very questionable," (Attorney for Rhodes family) Bamberg told *CP. "*If a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death of someone is routine, then we’re all in trouble."
Officer Kelly, who signed the document, has been placed on paid administrative leave as well as two paramedics who apparently released him to the cops without his signature.
Attorneys for Rhodes' family are considering filing a lawsuit.