Columbia, SC — Dashcam footage was released this week showing exactly why some people should not be given a badge and a gun. Robert Langley Jr. had committed only minor traffic offenses yet his life was taken from him by a Hemingway police officer who had no business holding state approval to use deadly force and authority.
Langley was killed on Feb. 6 and for the last month and a half, his family has been fighting for the release of the dash camera footage as they believed he was wrongly killed. After watching the video below, you'll see that they were entirely correct.
Langley was unarmed and appeared to have his hands in the air when Hemingway police officer Cassandra Dollard shot him at point blank range in his chest, killing him.
The video evidence was so damning, that Dollard was actually charged with voluntary manslaughter and arrested after the shooting. She becomes the first cop in the state to be charged with killing a civilian since officer Michael Slager murdered Walter Scott in 2015 — shooting him in the back multiple times as he ran away, unarmed.
According to police, Dollard claimed that she observed Langley roll through a stop sign, so she initiated a traffic stop. For unknown reasons, Langley did not immediately stop and led Dollard on a high-speed chase for about 5 minutes before crashing into a ditch.
The location of that crash was important because it would lead to Dollard's slip which apparently gave her personal justification for killing the unarmed man.
As the video shows, Dollard approaches the vehicle from the passenger's side with her gun drawn. She orders Langley to show his hands and he immediately complies and sticks his hands out of the window.
In what was a likely attempt to open the door, Langley briefly pulled his hands back in the vehicle before opening the door. As Langley attempts to exit the vehicle with his hands out, Dollard shoots him in the chest and he collapses.
In sheer panic, illustrating that she had no business being a cop, Dollard then retreats back to her vehicle for roughly 30 seconds before returning the the dying man to tell him to "be still" and asking him what is in his hand.
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“Be still, sir,” she said. “I’ve got EMS coming.”
Langley was holding $4 in cash. That's what was in his hand.
More than three minutes pass before Dollard begins CPR but it was too late, the point plank shot to the chest was too much to survive. An ambulance would show up 15 minutes later and Langley was dead.
Bakari Sellers, an attorney for Langley’s family, told the Post and Courier that the video showed there was a “cascade of poor decisions” made by Dollard that night.
“She violated multiple law enforcement procedures,” Sellers said. “It’s one of the worst shoots I’ve seen — absolutely no justification. She was unprepared, ill-trained and should not have been on the road that night. Robert Langley should be alive today.”
Indeed, she was incredibly ill-trained and unprepared and her record proves it. According to the Post and Courier:
Dollard was previously fired from two law enforcement agencies — State Transport Police and Johnsonville Police Department — for various performance-related issues, according to state records.
Dollard’s was fired from the Transport Police in 2014 after she told superiors she fired her service weapon at two dogs she claimed were chasing her during a morning run in Jamestown. The officer waited nearly six hours before she reported the shooting to her supervisor, according to court records from a federal discrimination lawsuit Dollard filed in 2017.
She was employed by Hemingway police for about five months before Langley’s shooting, records state.
She was fired days after the shooting.
On Feb. 9, three days after killing Langley, Dollard was booked into jail on the manslaughter charge after an investigation conducted by SLED. She was released from jail the following day on $150,000 bail.
Had the system not been set up in a way to protect incompetent gypsy cops by allowing them to float between departments despite checkered pasts, Langley would be alive and Dollard could be working somewhere else where she was not permitted to use deadly force against citizens.