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North Charleston Police
Do you think that the North Charleston Police Department has taken appropriate steps towards reform a year after the Walter Scott shooting?
North Charleston Police Request For Review Representative Of Racist Resistance
4/27/2016 5:28:58 PM

North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers
By Barney Blakeney

North Charleston Police Department last week announced it is asking the U.S. Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services office to review it and make recommendations it can use to reform itself. Local civil rights organization leaders who have criticized the department’s tactics in Black communities say that’s hogwash. North Charleston police Department needs mandated reform, not review and recommendations, they say.

Local civil rights groups including Black Lives Matter, the National Action Network and the North Charleston NAACP ramped up demands for police reform after the April 2015 police shooting death of Walter Scott. North Charleston police officer Michael Slager shot Scott in the back five times as Scott ran away during a traffic stop. The city recently settled a civil claim for $6.5 million in the case as Slager awaits trial for murder.

Slager’s actions are symptomatic of a culture of abuse that exists in the department, those who have criticized the police and its administration for years contend. They say police use the city’s high crime rate as rationale for race-based police abuse of minority communities. And that won’t be controlled until the Justice Department forces the administration to make progressive change.

Since Scott’s back-shooting captured on video, protesters have demanded reform that so far has not been forthcoming. Even Scott’s blatant on camera execution hasn’t been enough to force the department to make concessions. The Justice Department’s review and recommendations that would come after a year-long study are far short of a patterns and practices investigation that would mandate change, challengers agreed.

Despite that 60 percent of traffic stops involve Black drivers the city where 47 percent of residents are Black, in 2015 only 25 externally generated complaints against North Charleston police officers were filed. North Charleston NAACP President Ed Bryant said the statistics don’t realistically represent the bias and abuse to which Black citizens are subjected by police in the city.

The city’s request for review and recommendations is merely a public relations trick intended to give false impressions of a racist police administration resistant to change, Bryant said.

National Action Network Vice President for Religious Affairs and External Relations Rev. Nelson Rivers said he’s concerned that the police department doesn’t care how it looks. On one hand it admits there are problems, but at the same time asks for meaningless assessments. With five Blacks on North Charleston City Council and several high ranking Blacks within the police department, Rivers said that three white males are the face of the administration.

Citizens’ rights are being violated. North Charleston police need investigating not review, Rivers said. Until that happens, they are committed to demanding a federal investigation of the department as requested in a July 13 letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed by over two dozen organizations.

“I have no comfort that the North Charleston Police Department will do the right thing voluntarily. It’s good that somebody’s doing something, but what they’re asking for is not an investigation. This is about justice and a mayor and police department that doesn’t want to be criticized,” Rivers said.

Visitor Comments

Submitted By: gag Submitted: 4/29/2016

Submitted By: George Jackson Submitted: 4/29/2016
its about time someone take the bull by the horn, you have been hoodwinked enough..wake up, shake it up get real change NOW...see what they did to the city of Charleston.? North Charleston is next....keep an eye on Riley too.

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