CHARLESTON, S.C. – A “Police Officer of the Year” in Charleston, S.C., has been arrested after investigators reviewed bodycam footage showing him hitting a handcuffed suspect.
Kevin Schlieben, 35, was charged with third-degree assault and battery, WCSC-TV reported. He appeared before a judge Friday and was released on his own recognizance.
He was named “Police Officer of the Year” by the local Knights of Columbus organization in 2014, the police said.
Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said the bodycam video showed Schlieben hitting suspect Rashad Robinson, 27, on July 1, the station reported.
The arrest warrant says the officer told Robinson to “shut the **** up” and hit him in the head with an open hand, the station reported.
Schlieben and another officer stopped to question Robinson on suspicion of pulling on car door handles, the Charleston Post and Courier reported in July.
As a result of police contact, Robinson fled and there was a foot pursuit, followed by a struggle, the paper reported. During the struggle Schlieben and the other officer were injured.
The two officers were placed administrative leave the next day.
“We want to make sure we’re an organization of integrity, that we’re reviewing these incidents and having the right outcomes,” Reynolds told the paper. “Our officers need to know that we support them … if it’s reasonable, it’s justified and it’s necessary. If we’re not sure, we’re going to investigate.”
Robinson, who has a rap sheet that includes 31 arrests, was charged with evading arrest.