Case file released in Curnell death investigation
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- His death still raises questions, even after it was ruled a suicide by investigators and the solicitor's office. The officer at the center of the investigation has been cleared.
The 180-page case file does raise at least a few questions and may explain why the teen's family hired a high-profile attorney. The file includes emails from police to city leaders and reports from every officer at the scene that night as well as dash cam videos from three officers' cars who arrived after the shooting had happened.
The dash cam video shows a backup officer getting to the Bridgeview Village apartments. In front of the car is Officer Jamal Medlin's car and a body covered by a tarp.
The newly released materials give a comprehensive look at the incident report and all of the supplemental reports for the first time. The report says agents from the State Law Enforcement Division were called to the scene, but asked Charleston police to take over the evidence gathering process.
In fact, one of the crime scene technicians for the department processed Medlin's weapon and clothes for evidence.
The handling of this part of the investigation caused Curnell's family attorney Andy Savage to question the reliability of the evidence and the conclusions that came from it.
The reports also show that an EMS crew moved Curnell's body before investigators arrived in an effort to save the teen's life.
One of the crime scene technicians said in a supplemental report Curnell was lying on his back with a revolver to one side, but based on blood evidence it appeared Curnell had been face down with the gun under him.
Savage has also called into question the lack of video surveillance from the apartment complex.
The report says officers were unable to get access to any recordings of the incident because of technical difficulties.
Part of the 180-page release included emails exchanged between the police department and city officials. Many of the emails asked how to answer questions from the media.
Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis tells city employees that Curnell may have killed himself.
"Police are on scene of a possible suicide in Bridgeview/Bayside Manor that occurred by 10:30 p.m. I will provide you with updates," he wrote in the one-line email to the mayor's office and city council.
The personnel file for Medlin shows the officer had been rated for "solid performance," and earlier this week, Police Chief Greg Mullen applauded Medlin's handling of the shooting and subsequent investigation.
Medlin was serving as a uniformed, off-duty officer at the apartment complex at the time of the shooting.
According to the department's procedure manual, off-duty officers get paid by the business that employs them. In this case, that would have been the Bridgeview Village Apartments.
The new documents also show Curnell was pronounced dead at the scene.
Savage recently said he was waiting to see what Curnell's family wanted to do next.
911 calls from eyewitnesses at the apartment complex were also released Wednesday. One caller said she saw police officers everywhere, but no EMS crews there to try and save Curnell's life.
"Somebody baby just got shot by one of these police officer. There's 9,000 officers out here but no paramedics or nobody out here," the caller said. "This is horrible. This is just ridiculous."
The dispatcher says there is an EMS crew in the area.
"Yeah, you might have some in the area, but all I see is 10,000 police cars, no EMS or no nothing," the woman responded.
Another caller said the same thing, and demanded to know why an ambulance had not arrived.
"I just want to know how long this ambulance won't come. This is my cousin's child out here. And she want to know how long the bus won't come because there ain't a bus or fire truck or anybody out here," she said.
Officials at Charleston County EMS said they would release details about their experience at Bridgeview on Thursday.