Allendale police refuse to release incident report

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

September 6, 2006

Why did an Allendale police officer kill a man during a routine traffic stop?

The details of the controversial shooting should be public information...but the police department isn't talking.

The law says information like this should available to the public. The police department is funded by tax dollars to protect the community. And investigations involving police officers are a matter of public interest.

But so far, the Allendale department has not given us what we've asked for.

A month has passed since 33-year-old Michael Moore's death, and questions still remain.

Did Officer Horace Brunson shoot more in self-defense? Or was it unnecessary force?

News 12 asked Allendale Police Chief Luther Gadsen for the details of the shooting, and filed the legal paperwork to see the incident report.

Several weeks have passed, and still no report.

We visited Chief Gadsen today to ask what was going on.

News 12: "This is the deadline for the open records request."
Chief Gadsen: "I'm not saying anything."

The freedom of information act gives chief gadsen 15 days to either give us the information, or cite a legal reason why he should not.

This is day 15.

Chief gadsen says the city administrator took care of it weeks ago.

We asked him to be more specific.

News 12: "He sent what?"
Chief Gadsen: "Nothing."
News 12: "Nothing?"
Chief Gadsen: "Ma'am, you're asking me the same question over and over."
News 12: "Well, I haven't gotten an answer. I'm asking, what did he send?"

Chief Gadsen wouldn't respond.

The report we requested could lead to answers about what happened on August 11.

The police department says Officer Brunson cited Moore with a routine parking violation, a confrontation followed, and Brunson fired his weapon three times in self-defense.

Moore's uncle, Edward Gooding, tells a different story.

"The whole thing escalated about some woman or something," he told News 12. "And it was a personal vendetta."

The reason behind the death is still under investigation.

Now, it's time for the police department to release details to Moore's family, and to the public.

News 12: "So you're not going to give it to us?"
Chief Gadsen: "No comment."
News 12: "'No comment.' Okay, thank you."

We have contacted the solicitor to ask what our next step should be in getting the incident report. We have also filed an additional public records request to get Officer Brunson's personnel file.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division took over the investigation. They tell News 12 it is still ongoing.


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