Myrtle Beach now named in federal lawsuit filed by man shot, paralyzed during 2015 drug raid


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The city of Myrtle Beach has now been named in a federal lawsuit filed by a man who said his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when law enforcement officers stormed into his home while serving a narcotics warrant and shot him nine times, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

According to an amended complaint filed May 24 by Julian Betton, the city of Myrtle Beach was named because it authorized the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit to “enforce drug laws within its municipal boundaries” and “contributed its employees to the DEU to assist the DEU in enforcing drug laws within its municipal boundaries,” court documents stated.

“The city of Myrtle Beach knew or should have known of the DEU’s unconstitutional policies and practices, and knew or should have known that the unconstitutional conduct would likely result in serious bodily injury,” according to the amended complaint.

In its response filed May 30, the city of Myrtle Beach, through attorney Michael Battle, requested the complaint be dismissed.

“The injuries allegedly sustained by plaintiff, which are denied, were the direct and proximate result of the negligent acts of the plaintiff or a third person whose actions and conduct were not apparent or reasonably foreseeable to COMB (city of Myrtle Beach), and COMB pleads intervening and superseding cause as a complete bar or limit to plaintiff’s claims which should be dismissed, denied or limited accordingly,” court documents stated.

Betton was paralyzed as a result of the April 2015 drug bust. He had been facing three charges of pointing and presenting a firearm and two charges of possession of drugs with intent to distribute, according to court records.

In March, all gun charges against Betton were dropped, and he pleaded guilty to selling $100 worth of marijuana one time to a friend.

Originally, officers told the solicitor that Betton shot back, but the same report that cleared the officers from charges also found that Betton hadn’t fired any weapons.

Betton filed his federal lawsuit in November 2015. Also named in it were 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson; DEU Commander Bill Knowles; and DEU agents Dean Bishop, Chad Guess, Frank Waddell, Chris Dennis and David Belue.

The case is subject to being called for jury selection and/or trial on or after Jan. 2, 2018, according to court documents.

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