VIDEO: Controversial SC traffic stop leads to another investigation

BERKLEY, SC – Berkeley County’s School Security Director is the focus of a Washington Post investigation into an alleged unlawful traffic stop, illegal search and medical procedures against another man’s will.

Back in March of 2011, then Dorchester County Deputy Tim Knight pulled over Kelvin Hayes for signaling too late. Knight’s dash camera captured the alleged infraction and exchange between the deputy and Hayes that eventual ended with Hayes thrown to the ground. Hayes filed a civil rights lawsuit in 2013 that was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2015.

Video from 2011 shows Hayes signal and make what appears to be a regular left turn, but the deputy pulls him over. For roughly five minutes, Deputy Knight questions Hayes from where he was going to if he can see the mint in Hayes’ mouth.

In the video, Hayes eventually appears to be fed up with the questioning, and finally asks the deputy if he is going to ticket him. In a later deposition, Deputy knight said he thought Hayes had a small bag of drugs in his mouth. It was a breath mint. Deputy Knight then grabbed Hayes by the throat and tossed him to the ground.

After Hayes was arrested, he was taken to an area hospital where a deputy made staff take samples of Hayes’ blood and an x-ray of his stomach to check for substances. All tests came back clean.

A prosecutor was assigned to try Hayes but once she saw the video, she dropped all charges against Hayes.

Dorchester County Sheriffs Office says Knight was employed with them from 2007 to 2013 and in that time they never received a complaint about him.

News 2 spoke with Knight over the phone Tuesday morning and he said he was aware of the Washington Post article but did not comment further.

Knight serves as Director of Security for Berkeley County schools and the district said the incident happened before he worked for BCSD and that all employees must pass comprehensive background checks.

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