Deputy was fired before

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The firing last week of Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Bryan Johnson was not his first.

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Bryan Johnson: Former deputy was fired after a fight that left a man with several broken bones.  Special
Special
Bryan Johnson: Former deputy was fired after a fight that left a man with several broken bones.

According to sheriff's office records obtained by The Augusta Chronicle , Mr. Johnson was fired from his job as a deputy at the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office in Camden, S.C., in March 2006, less than a year after he was hired. Mr. Johnson was terminated because he "used vulgar language towards dispatchers," the chief deputy wrote in a pre-employment questionnaire requested by Richmond County.

On the questionnaire, Mr. Johnson's integrity, reliability/attendance and cooperation with peers were rated as below average -- the lowest on the scale. He was given an average rating for his technical ability, motivation towards work, acceptance of supervision, adaptability/flexibility and oral communication skills, the document shows. He scored above average on writing skills.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength said that Mr. Johnson was screened during the application process and that he had been told by supervisors in the jail that Mr. Johnson was a good employee.

"They have to do a good job there, or we don't put them on the road (patrol)," the sheriff said.

Because Mr. Johnson performed satisfactorily at the jail, he was allowed to apply for certification as a peace officer, according to James W. Ellison, an attorney with Burnside Wall LLP Attorneys at Law, which represents the sheriff's office.

"His background was completely investigated by the Peace Officer Standards Training Council, and he was certified pursuant to state law to be a certified police officer by that agency prior to being placed on the road patrol," Mr. Ellison said in a letter to a Chronicle reporter.

Mr. Johnson was charged with aggravated battery July 28 in connection with a fight at Country Club Dance Hall and Saloon the previous Saturday.

In that fight, Christopher Sean Kersey, 35, suffered a broken and dislocated jaw, fractures to both orbital bones, temporary loss of the use of his left eye and a shattered right elbow, a sheriff's report states. Mr. Johnson allegedly punched and kneed Mr. Kersey even after he was handcuffed, according to the report.

The deputy was in uniform but was not on duty and was not working security for the club. Sheriff Strength said Mr. Johnson had worked a special-duty assignment earlier that night and had gone by Country Club, where his girlfriend, also a deputy, was working an assignment. The sheriff said she was not present at the fight because she was taking a suspect in another case to jail.

A message left at the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office regarding Mr. Johnson's termination was not immediately returned Monday.

In a statement obtained from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Mr. Johnson described the incident that led to his firing in Kershaw County. He wrote that he was off duty at a convenience store when he called dispatch on his cell phone to report that several people wanted on arrest warrants were in the store. He said that when he asked dispatch to send an on-duty officer to arrest the suspects, one began to run. As he reached to get cuffs, he swore into the phone. He was fired the next day, the statement said.

After he was let go in March 2006, he worked for the South Carolina Office of the Lieutenant Governor until June 2006.

Mr. Johnson was hired by Richmond County in February 2007, records show. Disciplinary records show that he committed several minor infractions, including speeding and being at fault in an accident. He was suspended for one day in November after another deputy clocked him driving 80 mph on Gordon Highway. He faced a one-day suspension in April for carrying his weapon into the jail.

Comments (27) Add comment
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prolifer
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prolifer 08/04/09 - 02:37 am
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If I (or you) drive 80 mph on

If I (or you) drive 80 mph on Gordon Hwy, it's a mandatory trip to jail. RCSO has double standards. AC, it was Mr. Johnson who worked another special not Mr. Kersey. If the department had done an indepth background investigation on this guy, guess what....They would still have hired him.

jlynch2
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jlynch2 08/04/09 - 02:39 am
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Im sorry, did you say Peace

Im sorry, did you say Peace Officer? What a joke, this guy is a turd.

HillGuy
7
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HillGuy 08/04/09 - 03:14 am
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Wow nice to know that

Wow nice to know that Richmond County takes the rejects from other police departments.

opiner
2
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opiner 08/04/09 - 03:51 am
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Keep the pay low and the

Keep the pay low and the standards will have to be a little lax to fill the job. When you're scraping the barrel, people like Johnson can slip past the elimination process.

prolifer
0
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prolifer 08/04/09 - 04:27 am
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If our police officers can't

If our police officers can't meet the standards, we'll drop the standards. But we MUST have a car on the beat. This appears to be the mindset of the department. You hired him, now take responsibility for him. He's a substandard person/officer and so is the department. Sounds like someone also lied at the other department when it came to validating his performance. I'm sure RCSO wouldn't hire this guy knowing his background. Lookout all, we're out here alone. The cops are in another world......You never know who or what is responding when you call....

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 08/04/09 - 06:00 am
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And Strength had the nerve to

And Strength had the nerve to write a letter to the President LOL, with this man having been part of his staff. Like I said before, RCSD is not exempt from doing racial profiling then and now.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 08/04/09 - 06:15 am
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fruitloop, where da racism

fruitloop, where da racism comin from?

opiner
2
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opiner 08/04/09 - 06:42 am
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fruitpa, you're a very ugly

fruitpa, you're a very ugly racist. Thanks for keeping up the image.

truthsetmfree
94
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truthsetmfree 08/04/09 - 06:49 am
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background checks at rcso are

background checks at rcso are minimal, they have one guy that does them. the police officer standards council dont do background checks they rely on what the department sends them. johnson's girlfriend was arrested for shoplifting at the mall
she made it through.............................check it out augusta chronicle...........

snowman45
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snowman45 08/04/09 - 07:02 am
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you guys need to realize

you guys need to realize there are 600 people working for this department every now and then you get a bad one. the funny thing is the first time any of you have the smallest little problem you'll be calling the brave men and women in gray to help you. you all are a bunch of hypocrites. these people not only risk there lives everyday but they also see things that you idiots sitting behind your computers could never imagine. until you see and deal with some of the things they do shut up cause you have no idea how you would react to anything. and yes i agree what he did was wrong but instead of damming the whole department ask some deputies what they think about his actions and they will tell you they don't like them and he deserves everything he gets.

aross4
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aross4 08/04/09 - 07:17 am
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I completely agree with you

I completely agree with you snowman. The sad truth is, no one will ever appreciate the police force, even after they are needed. What people fail to remember is that these men and women are only human and by that fact are allowed to make mistakes. Oh, I forgot how perfect our citizens as they sit on their high horses of judgment, my apologies.

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 08/04/09 - 07:31 am
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snowman45, I agree with you.

snowman45, I agree with you. With anything you will always have a few bad individuals that do not meet up to standard. But there are still a lot of law enforcement officers that put their lives in harms way to protect the citizens of their area. They are underpaid and underappreciated. We sit and condemn them all day long but when we are in trouble they are the first person we call.

russian7.62
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russian7.62 08/04/09 - 07:52 am
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Can someone say too many

Can someone say too many doughnuts! aros4--i don't call beathing the snot out of someone in cuffs is a mistake, do you?

snowman45
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snowman45 08/04/09 - 08:12 am
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russian i don't call it a

russian i don't call it a mistake. i call it doing something real damn stupid. however you prove my point about being just another idiot being critical of all police by adding a doughnut comment. I would love to know what you do for a living so I can catagorize you with all the idiots that do your profession. for example all postal workers are mass murderers, all military abuse people while interrogating them to keep us safe, all train operators are drunks because one time one got in a wreck while drunk, all painters are alcoholics (well thats true) lol. do you see how ridiculos this is. i hope so because when you say all richmond county officers are bad due to this guy than you have just condemed yourself as a close minded idiot, or either a criminal and just can't stand the police. so which is it russian just for my knowledge.

DEVGRU
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DEVGRU 08/04/09 - 08:33 am
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Sounds like he needs a little

Sounds like he needs a little counseling. Maybe his excuse will be that he was abused as a child. Carrying his weapon into the jail, huh. I don't think he was cut out for law enforcement anyway.

aross4
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aross4 08/04/09 - 09:17 am
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Russian, I guess you will be

Russian, I guess you will be in court to give your eyewitness account of the beating. Thank you for doing your public service. I mean you did actually see what wounds were inflicted by the officer as opposed to the ones that were received via his drunken brawl. But wait maybe you didn't see it because if you had, you would know that Deputy Johnson has in fact not had too many doughnuts. Hmmm...more uneducated opinions in our great city.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 08/04/09 - 02:06 pm
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Slipped past??? They knew

Slipped past??? They knew full well he was fired by another department and had low job evaluation scores, yet the RCSD hired him anyway, but because he fit the redneck good-ole-boy image they overlooked his obvious flaws. The good-ole-boy culture is still rampant at RCSD. How much you want to bet that Johnson's had some sort of personal connections with the RCSD?

prolifer
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prolifer 08/04/09 - 03:04 pm
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Snowman45, don't be so quick

Snowman45, don't be so quick to voice YOUR opinion. This guy is a dirtbag. No one is putting down the entire department, we're just afraid his kind will respond if and when we do call. He still should have visited his girlfriend in street clothes. He was representing the SO by being in uniform. There have been deputies that went against the system and were either fired or put in another position. Then you have an azzh%#@e like this that rides on the gravy train until he embarasses the department. You order sh$#, you eat sh$#. BTW, you may want to change your sign on b/c I know you personally and you dont have much room to talk. The only voice you have IS behind that computer screen.

storiesihaveread
358
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storiesihaveread 08/04/09 - 04:27 pm
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A rogue cop that needed to be

A rogue cop that needed to be taken off the streets. He thought he was above the law

storiesihaveread
358
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storiesihaveread 08/04/09 - 04:32 pm
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Hillguy are you an employee

Hillguy are you an employee of the RCSD or have ever been? That was the way in the late 70's early 80's a lot of the RCSD is now made up of ex militray. So unless you have been there and done it. Keep your mouth shut. P.S. No I am not a employee of RCSD I just now a lot of honest cops that work for RCSD. Yes there are some that when they put on that badge and gun they think they are all that

prolifer
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prolifer 08/04/09 - 05:08 pm
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HillGuy is not an employee of

HillGuy is not an employee of the department because if he was he'd know they are not RCSD but RCSO.

Lumbarsupport
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Lumbarsupport 08/04/09 - 06:24 pm
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Tip of the iceberg.

Tip of the iceberg.

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 08/04/09 - 10:51 pm
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0
Unfortunately we get what we

Unfortunately we get what we pay for. I know none of us want taxes raised, but Richmond County does not pay well and probably why they do not get the best.

HillGuy
7
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HillGuy 08/04/09 - 11:40 pm
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I bet you Johnson family had

I bet you Johnson family had some "contact" in the RCSO, RCSD.. whatever you want to call it.. who allowed him to slip through..somebody went to the same church, went to the same high school, huntin buddies, you name it.. but I cannot figure out why they hired this guy knowing his trackrecord, unless he simply got a pass because he or someone in his family knew the right ppl. Cmon, ppl, you know that's how things work in Augusta... it may not be as bad as it used to be.. but it still happens all the time. In Augusta, it has always been about knowing the right 'people'..especially in city and county government.

HillGuy
7
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HillGuy 08/05/09 - 12:04 am
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Columbia County pays better

Columbia County pays better and so they get better quality. Also the crime rate in Columbia County is actually dimishing whereas it is skyrocketing in Richmond County.

Native007
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Native007 08/05/09 - 03:05 pm
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This guy had done things we

This guy had done things we are all guilty of before working for RC. Swearing, Speeding, and being at fault in an accident? Those are nothing. Imagine if your current job screened and didnt hire you for those reasons? It's illogical to throw that at the RCPD. And remember that they are humans not angels. One will always make a mistake. Not condoning what he did though.. way overboard.

corgimom
38278
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corgimom 01/09/10 - 02:44 pm
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I don't think the RCSO is

I don't think the RCSO is flooded with applications. They had to take what they could.

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