Success! Officers Charged in Deaths of 2 Innocent Women During Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence  made landfall in North Carolina last September, bringing devastating floods and at least 51 deaths. But two of those deaths could have been prevented.

On September 18, Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop — both South Carolina sheriff’s deputies – were transporting two mental health patients to new facilities in another part of the state under physicians’ orders. The two men were in the front compartment of a transport van, while the two female patients were locked in a separate compartment at the back.

The van came to a barrier that warned of rising waters on a section of highway in Marion County, but Flood kept driving anyway — until the vehicle became pinned against a guard rail as the floodwaters rose around them.

The two officers escaped by crawling on top of the van, leaving Nicolette Green and Wendy Newton trapped in the back compartment, where they ultimately drowned.

Police discovered the bodies of Green, a 43-year-old woman from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Newton, a 45-year-old woman from Shallotte, North Carolina, the following day.

When the Care2 team heard about this horrible and preventable tragedy, they created a petition demanding that these two officers be held responsible for the deaths of Green and Newton. 

Now, two women who had voluntarily committed themselves to get the help they need have perished because of the possible negligence of these two officers.

Not much is known yet about Newton but according to her own accounts on Facebook, she had struggled with mental health issues in the past. Nicolette Green’s sister posted that Green had had depression for 20 years and leaves behind three children.

These women put their trust in the hands of the government and the government failed them. If these deputies did indeed ignore barriers and warnings, they must be held accountable for the sake of the Green and Newton families.

By the end of 2018, the petition had garnered over 59,000 signatures.

Success! 

While Flood and Bishop were fired in October, the officers turned themselves in on January 4 and were both charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Flood also faced two charges of reckless homicide, with the accusation that he drove directly into danger even though he knew the risk.

“This is something we have been hoping and praying for since we heard the news about my sister. My family is beside themselves,” Green’s sister, Donnela Green-Johnson, told The Huffington Post. “These people are finally being held accountable.”

Care2 members, along with many other activists, are proud to be a part of holding Flood and Bishop accountable for the deaths of Green and Newton.

No matter what happened on September 18, we’ve seen too many instances of law officers failing to respect people with mental illnessDespite insufficient training, police officers frequently serve as the first responders in these situations.

It’s too late for Newton and Green, but at least justice will now be served.

Congratulations and thank you to all the activists who signed our petition and stood up for the rights of these two innocent women.

This Care2 petition has helped ensure that justice will be done. Do you have an issue  that concerns you? Using these guidelines, it’s easy to start your own petition and then watch as Care2 members sign up to support you!

 

Photo Credit: Care2

61 comments

Sabrina D
Sabrina Degasperi5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sophie A
Past Member 5 months ago

thanks for this

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Leo C
Leo Custer6 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Gene J
Gene J6 months ago

I don't think involuntary manslaughter a sufficient charge. They KNEW what would happen when they abandoned those two women. They're cowards and murderers, in my opinion. Horrible human beings as well.

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danii p
danii p6 months ago

Thanks

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danii p
danii p6 months ago

Thanks

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Kathleen E
Kathleen England6 months ago

So, so sad. To me that amounts to murder!

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Ruth R
Ruth R6 months ago

This was the first I'd heard of this horrible story. Hope that justice will be done.

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Anna R
Alice R6 months ago

Thank you

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O6 months ago

sad story

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