Officer’s widow felt ‘pushed to the side’ during investigation
From Staff Reports
The widow of slain police Sgt. Terrence Carraway of Darlington says she felt “pushed to the side” in the wake of her husband’s Oct. 3 death in an ambush attack on several Florence-area officers.
Allison Carraway, in Columbia last week to testify in favor of a bill relating to officer-involved shootings, said she was not notified by any law enforcement agency about her husband after the shooting, and was told by a trauma doctor, not the police, that her husband had been killed.
She said nearly two months went by before she was updated on the case by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, which had been asked to investigate the incident.
“It felt as if we were pushed to the side because of maybe confusion or complications about the investigation, and we as a family, we felt as if we deserved to know, especially based on the fact that my husband had worked at that (Florence Police) department for so long and the community loved him so much,” she said, according to WMBF-TV reports.
Allison Carraway said she got little help after the shooting and was not contacted by a grief counselor or victim’s advocate, WMBF and other media reported.
This prompted Carraway to testify Jan. 15 in Columbia before a Senate subcommittee studying a bill that would require the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate any officer-involved shootings.
The Oct. 3 ambush attack in Florence was investigated by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, not SLED, at the request of local authorities.
“It fell in line with what I wanted to do for my husband so that this would not occur — if this, God forbid, were to happen to anyone else in the law enforcement family, that they would have the resources right at hand to contact that one entity (SLED), and I think that needs to be covered statewide,” she said, according to WMBF reports.
SLED typically investigates most officer-involved shootings at the request of the law-enforcement agency whose officers were involved, but there is no law requiring it to do so.
The bill to require that was filed by Hartsville Sen. Gerald Malloy.
Meanwhile, the mother of the second officer killed in the Oct. 3 ambush is taking steps to distance herself from Allison Carraway’s remarks to the state legislators.
Katie Godwin, mother of slain Florence County Sheriff’s Office investigator Farrah Turner, said in a statement issued through her attorney:
“While I respect Mrs. Carraway for sharing her experience, the statements she made which purported to represent my daughter and I were not authorized in any way by me or any other member of Farrah’s family and do not reflect my experience with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Florence Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Department and McLeod Regional Medical Center.
“I would like to make it abundantly clear that Mrs. Carraway’s experience and words are her own and do not reflect mine.
“No one has authority to speak on behalf of my daughter or my family except myself and the family spokesperson, attorney Britney R. Weaver.
“My focus at this time is on justice for my daughter, (the late) Investigator Farrah Turner.
“My family and I will not sanction my daughter’s service and death being made into a political issue.”