Marion Co. deputy back to work after racial profiling case - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Marion Co. deputy cleared in racial profiling investigation

Actors Cherie Johnson and Dennis White (Source: CNN.com) Actors Cherie Johnson and Dennis White (Source: CNN.com)

MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Marion County Sheriff's deputy being investigated by the FBI and SLED agents for racially profiling a couple back in September is back to work at the sheriff's office, and has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Justice Department.

"After reviewing the facts of the case, the Department of Justice has closed its civil rights investigation of Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Shad Barfield," his lawyer stated in a news release.

On September 22, 2013, actor Dennis White, known for his role in the film Notorious and Cherie Johnson, known for her acting role on the television show Family Matters, were on their way to Myrtle Beach for a vacation. The actors pulled off the road to take a closer look at a cotton field in Marion County when Deputy Barfield pulled up.

The couple said Barfield questioned them about drugs, and said there was a warrant out for Johnson's arrest. According to attorney Rose Mary Parham, the deputy was investigating "what he believed to be an abandoned car in a cotton field in a high crime area in Marion County."

After holding the two actors in investigative detention to check for warrants and obtain backup, they were later released and given a written warning. White and Johnson said they did nothing wrong and that there was no warrant out and claimed Deputy Barfield targeted them because they are black.

"I want Barfield to be fired from the police force," explained actor Dennis White back in September 2013.

White wanted Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Shad Barfield terminated after they met on a side of Highway 501 in Gallivants Ferry, but instead Deputy Barfield is back on the force.

Johnson gets emotional when recalling that moment, "I asked him, 'why are you cuffing me? And he said for his protection."

According to Marion County Sheriff Mark Richardson, Deputy Barfield returned to work back on January 1.

Barfield's attorney stated, "The incident has nothing to do with race and everything to do with an officer following routine procedure and doing his job. We are confident that anyone who takes a look at what actually occurred in Marion County will reach the same conclusion."

WMBF News did attempt to reach out to both White and Johnson and their legal representation, but were unsuccessful in doing so.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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