SLED investigating Barnwell City Police Chief Reuben Black

  • City of Barnwell Police Chief Reuben Black

UPDATED STORY

Barnwell Police Chief Reuben Black is under investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

SLED spokesman Thom Berry confirmed that the agency is looking into allegations involving the police chief.

“Since our work is underway and ongoing, it would inappropriate to discuss details of the investigation,” said Berry on Feb. 6.

Berry said he understood Black was escorted from his office Monday afternoon.

City of Barnwell Mayor Edward Lemon said Monday night that SLED contacted him around midday to tell him an investigation was underway.

At the request of Mayor Lemon, City Administrator John Zawacki relieved Black of his duties around 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

At Monday night’s Barnwell City Council meeting, the mayor and council went into a 10-minute closed session after which Lemon announced, “Disciplinary action has been taken on employee A.” No vote was taken by the council.

He confirmed after the meeting that a SLED investigation was underway but could not discuss the details. “It will probably be several weeks before we know anything,” he said.

Black, a native of Barnwell, has been with the Barnwell Police Department for seven years and its police chief for three years. Prior to that he worked with the Greenville Police Department.

On Monday evening after the council meeting, Captain Brian Johnson, 53, of Williston, was tapped to serve as acting police chief, confirmed Mayor Lemon.

Cpt. Johnson has over 30 years of law enforcement experience with various agencies. Amongst those, Johnson said, he served with the BPD in the early 1990’s for seven years. He served 20 years with the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office before coming back to the BPD three months ago to fill the vacancy left by Wayne Martin.

 

ORIGINAL STORY

Barnwell Police Chief Reuben Black is under investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

SLED spokesman Thom Berry confirmed that the agency is looking into allegations involving the police chief.

“Since our work is underway and ongoing, it would inappropriate to discuss details of the investigation,” said Berry.

Berry said he understood Black was escorted from his office Monday afternoon.

City of Barnwell Mayor Edward Lemon said Monday night that SLED contacted him around midday to tell him an investigation was underway.

At Monday night’s Barnwell City Council meeting, the mayor and council went into a 10-minute closed session after which Lemon announced, “Disciplinary action has been taken on employee A.”

He confirmed after the meeting that a SLED investigation was underway but could not discuss the details.

Black, a native of Barnwell, has been with the Barnwell Police Department for seven years and its police chief for the last three years. Prior to that he worked with the Greenville Police Department.