WELCOME TO UPSTATE SC AND NORTHEAST GEORGIA'S #1 STATION FOR TODAY'S R&B AND OLD SCHOOL.......FOR YOUR ADVERTISING NEEDS BECOME A BUSINESS PARTNER TODAY!
LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. —A Highway Patrol trooper is without a job following an investigation into his handling of a traffic stop of an NFL player in June.
According to a release from the Highway Patrol, Lance Cpl. R.S. Salter has been terminated, effective as of June 26, the date on which he was suspended.
The cause of his termination was conduct unbecoming a state employee, Salter’s second offense of this type according to the SCHP.
A release said an internal investigation was conducted after a June 25 traffic stop involving NFL player, Sydney “Sam” Montgomery, in Laurens County.
Montgomery is from Greenwood and played college football at LSU. He’s now on the Cincinnati Bengals roster.
Montgomery was allegedly going 89 mph in a 55 mph area. He was pulled over just after 12:30 a.m.
The SCHP said that during the course of this traffic stop, Salter’s interaction with Montgomery was “inconsistent with how he was trained to conduct a traffic stop; his actions and behavior were unprofessional when he told Mr. Montgomery, “NFL, you are under arrest,” which could be perceived as suggesting that Montgomery was being arrested because of his status of being in the NFL.”
The release said Salter “deviated from his training and exhibited negligence in following rules, regulations, policies or procedures when he did not properly approach the vehicle and introduce himself, but instead immediately effectuated an arrest without informing Mr. Montgomery of the reason for the traffic stop and giving loud verbal commands instructing him repeatedly to shut off his vehicle and show his hands.”
The release said Salter’s comments to Montgomery during the ride to the detention center were inappropriate, including referring to a seat belt in the patrol car saying, “We can pull that thing across you tight and lock it, and we can make it a very uncomfortable ride to jail.”
Montgomery later pleaded not guilty and the judge dismissed the charge.
The SCHP said Salter also had an inconsistent pattern of who he chose to arrest or not arrest.
The release said Salter had received a letter of counseling in 2007 for using poor judgment and being unprofessional during a traffic stop. He was also disciplined in 2012 for making inappropriate comments on his personal social media site that reflected poorly on his status as an officer of the law.
The release said that troopers are to conduct themselves in a manner that is above reproach fitting their position of authority, and Salter’s conduct during the Montgomery traffic stop and other incident “fell woefully short of that standard and therefore resulted in his termination.”