Staff Reports – Federal law prohibits discrimination in the workplace, and some Charleston County personnel under the leadership of Sheriff Al Cannon believes that African Americans are victims of disproportionate representation in law enforcement.
The current statistics at the Sheriff’s Department demonstrate a pattern of unequal promotional consideration for African Americans. This practice has had a disparate impact on advancement in the Sheriff Department, and should be investigated by the Justice Department, Civil Rights Division.
The recent retirement of Chief Deputy John Clark is a striking example of what appears to be a discriminatory practice. Clark’s position has not been filled, and the next man in line happens to be an African American. Calls to the Sheriff Department were not returned by press time.
Ed Bryant, President of the North Charleston Branch NAACP, believes that the Charleston County Sheriff Department should have a comprehensive review and ultimately be placed under a court ordered consent decree until parity is achieved.
Bryant said that consent decrees are powerful tools and outline specific steps to remedy the impact of unlawful acts of discrimination, because they are agreed to and signed by all parties involved. Bryant believes that with a binding court ordered consent decree, tied to budgets, there would be more cooperation from the County Sheriff Department.
Bryant said that the toxic environment at the Justice Department under the temporary leadership of Trump and Sessions may soon be over. Trump and Sessions are trying to turn back the clock, but it is believed that through the Civil Rights Division of the NAACP, the cooperation from those agencies of goodwill could be achieved.