Camera-Snatching South Carolina Deputy Identified through Social Media


A South Carolina sheriff’s department is doing all it can to coverup for a deputy who was caught on video snatching a man’s camera from his hands last month.

First, the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office refused to identify the deputy to a local news station after an initial inquiry.

Then, it told the news station that it would not investigate the incident until the victim filed a complaint.

Then, after the victim attempted to file a complaint via email, sheriff officials said they would only investigate if the victim came into the station to file the complaint, even though he lives two hours away in another state.

Next they would probably require him to do a headstand while rubbing his stomach in order to accept his complaint.

But thanks to WIS-TV’s persistence on this matter, the deputy was identified as  Sterling “Chad” Poston after the station posted the video on Facebook and Twitter, asking viewers for help in identifying him.

According to WIS-TV:

The victim in the case said he was shooting video of Darlington County deputies walking through an Indian Branch Road campground around 12:30 a.m. following the NASCAR race. The victim, who has asked that WIS not reveal his identity, was confronted by a man Darlington County Sheriff’s Captain Andy Locklair identified as Sterling “Chad” Poston. The video shows the victim standing several yards away from the officers when Poston shines his flashlight at the victim and approaches him.

“Do you want to go to jail,” Poston is heard asking the victim on the video, “I’m sorry,” the victim is heard responding. The recording shows Poston ask the victim the same question again when the victim says Poston “ripped” the phone from him and “shoved him.”

WIS emailed Captain Locklair the video that contained the allegations of assault, requesting an update on the case and the deputy’s identity. In an emailed statement from Captain Locklair—which also included Sheriff Wayne Byrd’s email address—Locklair told WIS his agency would not investigate the incident until the victim in the case filed a complaint,

Locklair did not answer questions of the deputy’s identity in our initial email. Locklair did confirm Poston’s identity after several WIS viewers provided the deputy name after we posted the video and picture of the victim’s video on Facebook and Twitter. Multiple sources identified the deputy as Chad Poston. Locklair confirmed the deputy’s identity four days later.

Darlington Sheriff's Office

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • Nogods Buffalo

    public servants abusing their power hate the internet and cell phones.

  • Liberty

    Absolutely no excuse for this behavior.

  • Garner Scott

    Just another bully with a badge. Tax payers paying a thug. Need to hold person and Chief accountable.

    • Difdi

      Normally I dislike the idea of taxpayers being n the hook to pay civil damage awards for bad cops, but I’d have no problems with it if the people in that Sheriff’s county re-elect him.

  • John

    I keep saying it and saying it. This type of unconstitutional behavior probably won’t stop until LEO’s are arrested on Federal Civil Rights violations. It is time to demand the FBI investigate and prosecute.

    • Mark Olish

      It’s PAST time to demand investigations. This is blatant assault and strong arm robbery.

  • Ron Grounds

    There is no accountability within the police force.

  • Dan Matthews

    Where is the rest of the story?
    Was the guy arrested?
    He obviously got his camera back, as he was able to post the video.

    I suggest that if he does go to file a complaint, he takes a few friends with him who were “witnesses” to the attack.

  • navyjet

    Hey America just FYI when you live in a Fascist Fuck Hole seeing
    Gestapo wondering around and patrolling a “Camp” is not unusually.
    Get used to it.

    Russia should tweet to Obama and Holder a picture of
    Snowden wearing the Superbowl ring.

    • JdL

      Hey America just FYI when you live in a Fascist Fuck Hole seeing Gestapo wondering around and patrolling a “Camp” is not unusually.

      Yep! Just curious, do you live some place other than a “Fascist Fuck Hole”?

      Get used to it.

      Thanks, but I’ll pass.

  • Rusty Carr

    I guess the sheriff’s dept. didn’t want to reveal his name due to “officer safety”.

    • ExCop-Lawyer

      Both the actions by the officer and the SD are likely due to Poston’s assignment to a narcotics unit, and not wanting his face published.

      Of course, if he works undercover, he shouldn’t be in public, in uniform, and expect to keep his identity secret.

      • jch9596

        Not sure there is immunity from doing something wrong just because you might be undercover. Besides, that would only explain not wanting to ID the deputy, not making the citizen run around in circles to file a complaint..

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          Where did I say there should be immunity for his battery on the cameraman?

          All I addressed was the likely reason for not wanting to ID him.

          • jch9596

            And what I said was that there was not a good reason NOT to ID him when clearly the LEO seemed to be in the wrong. Also, I said that not ID’ing him is only part of the stonewalling going on here. That in and of itself leads me to believe there’s other reasons not to ID him.

          • Currently-a-Lawyer-never-a-Cop

            Much more likely is the blue code of silence.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Could be.

  • Bill Larson

    I think the man’s law suit should add the department and the Sheriff and charge them with conspiracy and obstruction of justice for refusing to identify the perpetrator

  • JdL

    Yet another set of cops who are complete and total cowards. They’ve got the guns, the badges, and the clown costumes, yet they shit their pants if anyone wants to know their names.

  • Difdi

    I bet that if the victim did come all that way to file the complaint in person, the Sheriff would make an arrest for filing a false police report.

  • shoutitout

    Darlington County Sheriff Office
    1621 Harry Byrd Highway
    Darlington, SC 29532

    Telephone: 843-398-4501
    Fax: 843-398-4502

    To Whom It May Concern,

    My name is * and I am a United States Citizen. I have just watched a video showing a police officer “Poston” from your county violating the rights of a citizen documenting police actions. These actions were patently in direct opposition to what police officers are sworn in to do for the citizens of this country.

    As a citizen who still believes in what this country is supposed to be I demand know what actions are being taken by your police department to investigate and punish this police officer for his reprehensible actions toward the public.

    Thank You,