Names confirmed after officers fired, others resign for misconduct in Anderson

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ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Police officials in Anderson announced Thursday that four officers are off the force. 

Police Chief James Stewart said in a press release that the firings and resignations are the result of two separate internal investigations involving misconduct. 

7News first learned of one investigation involving the alleged use of excessive force Thursday morning. In the process of looking into the story we learned of another misconduct probe centered on a veteran investigator. 

Chief Stewart said the incident that prompted the excessive force investigation happened in July and revealed “deception and making false and misleading statements to superior officers.”

Through records obtained by 7News through a Freedom of Information request from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, we’ve learned that Christopher Aman while acting in the role of Lieutenant on Shift submitted reports “that he knew to be untrue” and did not report violations or ask for an investigation into an event where possible excessive force was used. Records show Aman was terminated from the department on August 7th after joining the department in 2009.

As of Friday, Aman was reinstated to the department with a suspension and rank demotion as punishment after going through the employee grievance process, according to a release by the city.

More documents show on that same day, Officer Thomas Lovingood was terminated from Anderson Police after an internal affairs investigation. In a signed statement from department Chief Jim Stewart, “Officer Thomas Lovingood was on scene with other officers where an incident of excessive use of force and possible civil rights violations occurred. Officer Lovingood did give false statement or misleading information in an attempt to cover up the incident.” 

Lovingood joined the department in April of 2018, we reached out to him for comment, but have not heard back yet.

More records from the Criminal Justice Academy show that just two days after the terminations, Officer Jallas Carter resigned following an investigation into misconduct. 

An internal affairs investigation revealed that Carter used excessive force after “a member of society was struck four times in the abdomen with a flashlight in a closed fist, while handcuffed in the back of a patrol vehicle.”

According to the document, Carter reportedly “deceptively” gave false or misleading information to Internal Affair investigators until he was confronted by video.

“This violates City Policy for Use of Force, and giving false or misleading information to the Department,” according to the document.

The nature of Carter’s misconduct was described in the document as:

  • Physical or psychological abuses of members of the public and/or prisoners.
  • Willfully making false, misleading, incomplete, deceitful, or incorrect statements to a law enforcement officer, a law enforcement agency, or a representative of the agency, except when required by departmental policy or by the laws of this state.
  • Willfully providing false, misleading, incomplete, deceitful, or incorrect information on a document, record, report, or form, except when required by departmental policy or by the laws of this state.

No criminal charges have been filed in this case.

Carter was hired at the police department on April 18, 2016.

The department has not confirmed Carter is one of the three tied to the excessive force probe.

Meanwhile, in a separate and unrelated incident 7News learned a fourth Anderson police officer, Internal Affairs Investigator Garland Major resigned Monday.  

Records show the 34-year law enforcement veteran resigned after an internal investigation revealed he made “false and misleading statements to a superior officer.”

A South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy document states that while Major was working as an Internal Affairs investigator for the police department, he completed a covert investigation without the police chief knowing, requested and placed a vehicle tracking device from another agency on an Anderson City vehicle without the chief’s knowledge, and violated a general order that says that any office under investigation will be given a confidential written notice of any complaint or investigation.

The document also states Major was “untruthful and misleading in statements and actions to his superior officers.”

According to the document, the nature of Major’s misconduct included:

  • Willfully making false, misleading, incomplete, deceitful, or incorrect statements to a law enforcement officer, a law enforcement agency, or a representative of the agency, except when required by departmental policy or by the laws of this state.
  • Willfully providing false, misleading, incomplete, deceitful, or incorrect information on a document, record, report, or form, except when required by departmental policy or by the laws of this state.

No criminal charges have been filed against Major.

Major was hired at the Anderson Police Department on Jan. 3, 2017. 

He previously worked at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and retired from there on Jan. 1, 2017.

Major spoke with this reporter on the phone Thursday and admitted to not informing the police chief about an internal affairs investigation but said he followed policy on the other alleged violations that led to his resignation. 

He said utilizing tracking devices is customary in internal investigations, department policy states employees who are the subject of an internal affairs investigation do not have to be notified if the investigator feels it would jeopardize the investigation, and the chief wasn’t always notified for all internal affairs investigations. 

Major also said he always led clean and thorough investigations and would make decisions about his future in due time.

Major also served as President of the Anderson-area Crime Stoppers. 

State Coordinator Anna Bailey confirmed Major resigned his post effective immediately.

Chief Stewart said both matters are ongoing and developing and in his statement Thursday assured the citizens of Anderson that he will release more information when it is “appropriate.”

Here’s the full statement from Anderson Police Chief Jim Steward issued Thursday:

“The City of Anderson Police Department investigated a report of excessive force during an incident that occurred in July. The results of the investigation led to the termination of two officers and the resignation of another. The investigation also revealed deception and making false and misleading statements to superior officers.

In an unrelated circumstance, an investigator was terminated on Monday, August 13th for making false and misleading statements to a superior officer.

These personnel matters are of an ongoing and developing nature. The APD is committed to transparency and will keep the public informed as it is appropriate to release more information. The APD has received Freedom of Information Act requests from several media outlets and is fully prepared to comply.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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