AIKEN -- An Aiken County man has filed a lawsuit alleging sheriff's deputy violated his constitutional rights by searching and arresting him after ordering that he pull up his pants.
The defendants listed in the civil case are Jeffrey Nation, Sheriff Michael Hunt and the Aiken County Sheriff's Office. In the suit, which was filed earlier this month, Lorenzo Williams claims that on Sept. 7 Mr. Nation was patrolling a mostly black neighborhood in New Ellenton and began harassing some young black men for having their pants low enough to expose their underwear.
The suit claims Mr. Nation called from his cruiser loud speaker for Mr. Williams to pull up his pants and pull his shirt down.
The suit contends that Mr. Nation ordered Mr. Williams to put his hands on the patrol car's hood, and Mr. Nation searched his wallet. It also states that Mr. Nation ordered Mr. Williams to look him in the eye, and it alleges that Mr. Nation then hit Mr. Williams in the throat. The suit claims Mr. Nation arrested Mr. Williams for attempting to head butt him.
The sheriff and his office are listed as defendants based on Mr. Williams' claim that Mr. Nation remained on the force after being suspended in 2004 involving a use of force incident. The suit also claims that Mr. Nation was rehired after leaving the sheriff's office for nearly two years.
A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute.