SLED opens investigation into West Ashley police chase

PROVIDED An image from a video shows Charleston County Deputy Cory Shelton rearing back to hit a man who led deputies and police officers on a chase May 28 through North Charleston and West Ashley. The driver has his hands raised for a North Charleston police officer, at left, pointing a gun at him.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating a Charleston County deputy’s actions while capturing a suspect after a high-speed chase in West Ashley, an agency spokeswoman said Tuesday.

SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said agents opened their investigation Monday.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office had asked SLED to look into the incident after an in-cruiser camera showed Deputy Cory Shelton punching at a suspect who had his hands raised.

In a statement last week, the Sheriff’s Office said it had requested an initial review to determine whether a full criminal investigation is warranted.

Richardson would not discuss the investigation’s progress.

“They asked that we investigate this, and we are doing that,” she said. “(How we handle it) just depends on the case. Each case is unique.”

Shelton will be on paid leave during the investigation, sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said Tuesday. Shelton had worked at the county’s jail before becoming a law enforcement officer in April 2011.

He was the lead pursuer May 28 when a Kia driven by 52-year-old Peter Jenkins, a felon, stopped in West Ashley. Video showed Shelton running from his cruiser and throwing jabs at Jenkins while the driver appeared to be surrendering.

Jenkins remains jailed on charges of failure to stop for blue lights, resisting arrest and driving under suspension in connection with the pursuit.

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