Two South Carolina Police Officers Sentenced For Depriving Mentally Disabled Woman of Her Rights

Yesterday, federal Judge Bryan Harwell said that the bad actions of two officers ruined the good work of thousands of honest officers.

“This one incident can cause the public to lose respect and overshadow the good work, the hard work, done by thousands of officers every day,” Harwell said.

In October last year, Franklin Brown and Eric Walters pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law.  The DOJ took the case from the state and the officers reached the plea deals through federal prosecutors.

o-SC-COPS-facebookIt happened in April 2013 in Marion, South Carolina. Eric Walters was patrolling when he saw Melissa Davis walking out of the yard of a home for sale. He asked her what she was doing, thinking she might have broken into the home. He tased Melissa because she did not quickly respond. While on the ground, Walters ordered Melissa to put her hands behind her back, but he shocked her 4 more times with his taser before she could respond.

Franklin Brown responded to the scene, and saw Walters removing the taser probes from Melissa’s back. Walters had then determined that Melissa had not done anything wrong. However, Brown noticed that one of Melissa’s hands had slipped from her improperly applied handcuffs, and he used his taser on Melissa again. According to court documents, Melissa was not trying to fight or escape.

Prosecutors said that Brown shocked Melissa a total of three times, then offered to let her go if he could shoot her in the forehead with his Taser. Brown told the other officers at the scene he shot Melissa with his taser because he “did not want to touch that nasty bitch.” Brown’s statement is a part of his plea agreement.

Judge Harwell sentenced Franklin Brown to 18 months behind bars, and Eric Walters to a year and a day. Brown received a longer sentence because while mentally disabled Melissa Davis was handcuffed, Brown tased her.

Walters’ lawyer pleaded for mercy at the sentencing, saying that Walters was in poor health after several heart attacks he suffered before he was 39-years old. He asked that Walters be sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months of home detention. Prosecutors agreed with the federal sentencing guidelines, and the judge sentenced Walters to a year and a day in prison.

Walters apologized to Melissa, his family and the city of Marion. He said he has no job and had to tell his children, once so proud their dad was a police officer, that he did a bad thing and has to go to jail.

“That’s not me. That wasn’t me. I made one mistake. Now I am going to pay the ultimate price,” Walters said.

40-year old Melissa, through her guardian, has filed a civil suit seeking $1.9 million in damages. Melissa still suffers mental anguish from what happened to her and cries each time she looks in the mirror and sees the scar on her forehead.

Posted on 04/28/2015, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Mellissa Davis and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. The police officers received their just desserts for their disgusting behavior.

  2. Not enough time…………….or $$$$$$ as far as I’m concerned.

    • Racer and Two Sides, I give them each a cookie for admitting their wrong and entering a plea deal. Slager should follow their lead and do the same.

      • I hear ya…..kind of, but that cookie will have to be at least 4 years old…..left on the counter, with mice gnawings and droppings.

        I’m not really into any pass of any kind since they tazed a woman for what was it…..oh, “…walking out of a house for sale”

        I’ll agree if I can pick the cookie…..they’re felons and any pass empowers cops everywhere. But………..that’s just me.

  3. Two sides to a story

    At least some officers are getting jail time somewhere. It’s a start.

  4. Echoing Racerrodig “Not enough time…………….or $$$$$$ as far as I’m concerned.”

  5. How did they get busted? There has to be video. Cops just don’t admit things like this.

    A year and a day insures the time will be served in prison, at least here in Florida. Anything under a year is served in county jail.

    “That’s not me. That wasn’t me. I made one mistake. Now I am going to pay the ultimate price,” Walters said”

    Oh BS, imagine how many more cases there are where he behaved just this way.

    • Mindyme, there is no mention of there being a video. I suspect that some of the other officers squealed.

      • I’m curious!

        • Me too, but however the truth came out, the officers did not deny it. IMHO, it’s because she is mentally disabled that action was taken quickly and we have the results of the officers pleading guilty and being sentenced. Had she not been mentally disabled and been a person with a criminal record, the results might have been very different.

  6. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    This is what justice is about:

    “That’s not me. That wasn’t me. I made one mistake. Now I am going to pay the ultimate price,” Walters said.

  7. When people stress me out I mentally freeze up and I am slow to respond. This is horrific. And it’s horrific that every day we read about some police officer abusing or killing our citizens.

    • Glenn, it’s happening so frequently that I can’t keep up. It’s overwhelming. I wanted to follow-up on so many other cases where there was suppose to be investigation but before I can begin to research, there’s another news report about a person being shot, or tazed to death. Or, like what we have in the situation in Baltimore, reports are coming out about another man whose spine was severed when taking a ride in a cop van.

      • I hear you Xena. It’s a tough job to keep up with all the news of abuse that is going on. It’s tough because of the quantity and because of the depressing nature of knowing that we are paying these officers to serve and protect and instead they are abusing and killing.

        • Glenn, to give us a sense of hope, I am looking for, and reporting cases where law enforcement officers have been arrested. The bad thing about that is, they are usually acquitted or sentenced to less time than first time drug offenders. That is why I say no justice, no trust.

      • There are several stories every day now. How anyone can still say there is no problem with police abuse is beyond me

  8. Not one bad apple. The whole orchard is rotten.

    And Walter’s ONE THING WRONG??!! Obviously he was LYING at his sentencing!

    • Shannon, maybe the one thing wrong he was referring to was becoming a member of law enforcement. (hehehe)

  10. That’s a great idea Xena. We do need hope. The news is depressing.

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