Attempting to detain a suspect in connection with a complaint from a nearby store, Estill, S.C. police officer Quincy Smith was shot four times on New Year’s Day 2016, but survived. His assailant, Estill’s Malcolm Orr pulled a gun and opened fire, hitting the officer in the neck and chest, as well as breaking both his arms.
After being shot, Smith crawled back to his patrol car and called for help, asking the dispatcher to “Tell my family that I love them.”
Today Orr was sentenced to 35 years in prison for attempted murder and possession of a weapon. It was the maximum sentence for the charges.
Smith’s experience illustrates why, though some police officers have opposed the spreading use of body cameras, Smith and others have paid for them out of their own pockets. Smith’s video was reportedly vital to convicting his shooter.
(Warning: The following video is harrowing and graphic.)
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Public demands for mandating body cameras surged after a string of controversial shootings by police were captured on film, but the cameras have also served to capture moments of police valor and support officers’ accounts of contentious interactions.
In 2015, South Carolina actually passed a law mandating that all police wear body cameras. But the law carves out an exception for departments that can’t afford them. It’s unclear if the town of Estill was exempted from the mandate.
It’s also unclear what model of camera Smith was wearing during the shooting, but it’s notable that he initially attempted to detain Orr using a stun gun, whose maker, TASER International, has also diversified into body cameras and other technology for police.