Hardeeville police officer misconduct charge dismissed

A former Hardeeville police officer previously charged with soliciting prostitution and informing those involved in prostitution that police were nearby had his criminal charge dropped this week.

On Monday, the SC Attorney General’s office dismissed a professional misconduct charge against Jessie Leerowan Tyson III. He was fired by the Hardeeville Police Department in June 2019, according to Chief Sam Woodward.

“After a thorough investigation of the allegations and discussions with law enforcement, the agreement was reached for Tyson to resign his law enforcement officer certification and the state would not hire any lawsuits,” AG office spokesman Robert Kittle said in an email Friday. .

On April 18, 2019, law enforcement officers were in the Whyte Hardee Boulevard area of ​​Hardeeville conducting a human trafficking investigation. After taking several people into custody, officers learned that Tyson, a Hardeeville police officer at the time, had previously solicited one of those people “to perform sex acts for money “, according to an arrest warrant.

Tyson also allegedly used Snapchat to “warn defendants involved in prostitution to avoid said activity due to the presence of law enforcement in the area,” according to the warrants.

He knew in advance that police would be in the area carrying out an operation at the time, the document said.

Tyson’s attorney, Freddy Woods, of the South Carolina-based Woods Law Firm, said he could not comment.

“We cannot comment on the specifics of the case as this is a private matter. However, we are very pleased with the resolution in which the charges have been dismissed,” Woods said in a statement on behalf of Tyson.

The SC Law Enforcement Division investigated the matter. Tyson had worked at the department for about a year before being fired.

The AG’s office said Tyson resigned his law enforcement certification. He can’t be a police officer in South Carolina without one.

Prostitution and human trafficking are persistent problems in Hardeeville, officials said. Woodward told the Post and Courier newspaper at a human trafficking task force meeting in January that it was because of the highway that runs through town and a number of motels serving tourists between Savannah and Charleston.

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The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette publishes police reservation photos, or passport photos, in the following cases:

  • In situations where a public figure or person in a position of public trust is arrested
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This story was originally published March 19, 2022 8:00 a.m.

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Jake Shore is a senior news writer covering breaking news for The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. He reports on the criminal justice, police and court systems of Beaufort and Jasper counties. Jake is from sunny California and attended school at Fordham University in New York. In 2020, Jake won the top prize for police reporting from the South Carolina Press Association.

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