According to a February 27 report by WYFF4 News, a deputy in upstate South Carolina has been fired for violating policy.
On February 25, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark terminated Deputy Steven A. Ticknor, stating he had acted inappropriately when he used a Taser on a wheelchair-bound man.
The incident occurred February 20 when three deputies were assisting a Pickens police officer who was serving warrants on Travis Antonio Mansell, 25, of Pickens. Mansell had outstanding warrants for possession of stolen goods, resisting arrest and driving under suspension.
While executing the warrants at the West Lee Street residence, the door was answered by a woman who identified herself as Mansell’s girlfriend, who told the deputies Mansell wasn’t at the home.
Officers went through the door when they spotted Mansell inside. Mansell told officers he wouldn’t willingly go back to jail and the deputies would “have to kill him.” After more deputies were called to assist, and Mansell still failed to surrender to the deputies, and Travis Antonio Mansell’s father, 65-year-old Parker Mansell positioned himself between his son and the deputies, a deputy used a Taser to subdue Parker Mansell Jr.
Shortly after Travis Mansell was placed under arrest, Deputy Ticknor said he chose to use his Taser on Parker Mansell to prevent injury to the deputies.
Sheriff Clark initiated an internal investigation into the use of the two Tasers. A news release stated
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the incident taking into account the number of officers on the scene, the overt resistance from the son, verbal threats to force officers to take his life coupled with the extensive efforts by the deputies to diffuse the encounter without the use of force, the investigation found the use of the Taser to Travis Mansell was in fact appropriate and reasonable given the circumstances.
“The deployment of the Taser on the father, Parker Mansell, Jr, was not within the scope of our policy when all factors are considered. The father was confined to a wheelchair and was limited in mobility. Though he was verbally upset, he posed no significant danger to the deputies as he was unarmed and made no overt threats. The decision to use the Taser on Mr. Mansell Jr. was inappropriate and not necessary to protect any party nor was it necessary to the complete the arrest of Travis.”
Upon termination of Ticknor on Wednesday, Sheriff Clark announced
“It is unfortunate and disappointing in that one of our deputies chose to use a level of force that was not necessary and found to be unreasonable. It is my hope that our community will see that we conduct our internal reviews seriously and with the upmost scrutiny for detail and policy compliance. When law enforcement officers make a less than reasonable decision concerning the use of force, they must be held accountable as in the case of Parker Mansell, Jr. It was a poor decision that ultimately cost the deputy his job.”
The interference by Parker Mansell Jr. And Travis Mansell’s girlfriend is under investigation. Travis Mansell remains in jail at the Pickens County Detention Center on three bench warrants and charges of possession of cocaine (second offense) and resisting arrest.
Clark announced Friday that no more statements will be made until SLED completes an external investigation.