Lawsuit: Constable used excessive force during traffic stop
FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man who was shot and wounded while fleeing a traffic stop has filed a lawsuit accusing the state constable who shot him of using excessive force.
Brandon Domonique Fludd was shot three times when Christopher Bachochin, a volunteer constable with Florence police, fired eight bullets into Fludd's door as Fludd tried to speed away from a traffic stop in March 2018.
The lawsuit, filed Monday against Bachochin and the city, said Bachochin's use of force was unjustified and he permanently injured Fludd, news outlets reported.
Bachochin and a Florence police officer pulled Fludd over in March 2018 for driving left of the center lane. Body camera footage shows Fludd refusing to step out of his car at the officers' request and refusing to answer questions on whether the car contained weapons or drugs.
Fludd reversed his vehicle, hitting an empty police car and Bachochin began shooting at Fludd, who then drove away. He was later found and hospitalized. Fludd suffered from multiple gunshot wounds in the chest, shoulder, knee and forearm.
Bachochin, who is white, said he was afraid the car would hit him. He told the State Law Enforcement Division that he was "briefly struck" by the vehicle on his knee.
The lawsuit said Bachochin was nowhere in the path of the vehicle and wasn't in danger when Fludd, who is black, backed up. It said body cam footage showed that Bachochin reached out toward the vehicle, touched it, and then backed up.
The lawsuit also said since Bachochin was a volunteer constable, he wasn't properly supervised or trained by the city. Constables do not attend training at the police academy.
Bachochin served in the army and worked for Darlington police before becoming a pharmacist. Officials said he worked as a constable in his spare time for four years.
After the shooting, Florence police decided to no longer use constables for patrol, a police spokesman said.
The Attorney's General's office reviewed findings from an investigation but determined Bachochin's actions were justified.
A police spokesman declined to comment on the pending litigation. Bachochin didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.