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SC deputy on desk duty after inmate is slapped

Feb 4, 2011 8:34:00 AM - thestate.com
A Berkeley County deputy is on desk duty after investigators say he slapped a jail inmate who appeared to first spit in the officer's face.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports 44-year-old Thomas Howard Simmons of Moncks Corner had been charged with disorderly conduct last month.

A video released by the sheriff's department shows Cpl. Robert Thomas leaning down to talk to Simmons in the jail. It shows Simmons appearing to spit at the officer, who then slapped him and hit him in the back of the head, holding him down for other officers to secure.

Thomas is on desk duty while authorities investigate. He joined the department in 2004 and received awards two years later for helping rescue two small children from drowning.