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Officers Who Kill Suspects Are No Longer Qualified for Workers’ Comp

In South Carolina, it is reported that any officer that is responsible for shooting a suspect of a crime is no longer eligible to receive workers' compensation is asked to take time off of work. In the police force, often men and women who kill a person while on duty are asked to go through counseling and often required to take time off of work to recover. Though, in the state of South Carolina, the officers that are troubled after killing a person can’t receive any pay for their time away. The state Supreme Court ruled that because the officers of the state are trained to kill and use deadly weapons, they are aware of the likelihood of being required to use them in a time of need. As a result of this statement, the Court decided that because they may be required to use deadly force, they do not need to receive the benefits for time off.

One case example is an officer who was being threatened by a suspect to take his weapon and kill him, claimed that killing him was the only response he could do. Brandon Bentley’s doctors after stated that he was too stressed to return to the line of duty, and was also suffering from depression and anxiety after the shooting. He was denied the right to workers' compensation based of the ruling that he received the proper training in how to use a deadly weapon. Bentley is one of the many cases in which officers are being denied their right to workers' compensation from emotional injuries accrued while being on the job.

The Spartanburg County Sherriff’s Department believes that their officers should have the right to workers' compensation, because whether properly trained or not, being required to kill can be a traumatic experience, especially for those who haven’t spent much time on the field.