Detention deputy remotely unlocked cell doors to allow assault of inmate, officials say

Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division released the arrest warrant they used to charge a Charleston County detention deputy.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 8:59 AM HST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/Gray News) - A former detention deputy is facing a charge of misconduct after officials said she remotely unlocked cell doors to enable inmates to assault another inmate in a different cell.

Shannon Burden was fired Thursday by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and arrested by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, WCSC reported. The 38-year-old was charged with misconduct in office.

The sheriff’s office said an inmate reported to staff Tuesday at the Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston that he had been assaulted by other inmates the previous day.

Burden remotely unlocked cell doors and allowed four inmates to enter his cell and assault him, according to the arrest warrant. The victim was then punched and kicked by the other inmates; when he tried to leave, he was forced back inside, the warrant states.

Investigators with SLED said Burden admitted to intentionally unlocking the cell doors and standing by as the inmates entered the cell. They also say she closed the victim’s cell so that he could not leave and escape the assault.

Burden told agents the victim had upset her earlier in the shift and she wanted the inmates to get him to behave.

She was booked in the Al Cannon Detention Center and posted bond for $10,000.