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Group questions decision not to charge constable in Florence shooting

August 18, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has received a letter from a Florence organization questioning the decision by Wilson’s office not to pursue charges against a state constable involved in a shooting in March.

The letter, dated Aug. 14, was mailed to Wilson with a copy addressed to Assistant Attorney General Jarrod Fussnecker from a group called We the People. In the letter, the group asks eight questions of the attorney general’s office including ones about the implementation and code sections associated with South Carolina’s Stand Your Ground Law; the certification of the constable, Christopher Bachochin; what Bachochin’s intentions were in firing his weapon eight times; whether Bachochin remains a constable; and Bachochin’s employment history.

The constable was riding with a Florence city police officer on March 24 when the officer made a traffic stop. According to police video, the driver of the stopped car refused to exit his vehicle and then began backing up away from the officers. Bachochin fired several shots as the driver left.

We the People includes Florence City Councilwoman Pat Gibson-Hye Moore.

The letter says, “It is our contention that your (Attorney General, Alan Wilson) ‘closed door’ opinion represents an attempt to mix proper police procedure with a popular conservatism position that implies that the public’s right to transparency falls short of what all citizens should expect from the top law enforcement position in the State of South Carolina.”

The letter says that the group disagrees with the opinion of the attorney general’s office that the shooting was a Stand Your Ground issue.

“Calling this occurrence a ‘Stand your Ground’ issue places the public at-large with the probability of perpetual harm,” the letter continues. “If people are allowed to use ‘Stand your Ground’ as a defense of someone running away from them, ‘Stand your Ground’ can and will result with individuals making erroneous decisions as to when deadly force can or should be used.”

The letter ends by asking Wilson to make sure the matter gets the attention it deserves and asks Wilson to answer the questions within seven days of receiving the letter.

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