Eastside Residents Want Answers About May 31 Police Assault

Police presence during protests following killing of George Floyd. Photo: Tolbert Smalls

By Barney Blakeney

The Eastside CDC, ACLU and Lowcountry Black Leadership Coalition have joined forces to challenge a May 31 massive police presence that surged through the Charleston Eastside community following protests that began at Marion Square. According to former Eastside Charleston City Councilman Kwadjo Campbell, a wave of policemen in riot gear and including at least one armored personnel carrier surged through various neighborhoods of the Eastside and at one point fired rubber bullets and tear gas.

The City of Charleston must respond to officers launching projectiles and tear gas into neighborhood areas with community members present including small children and seniors, pronounced a flyer calling for a June 17 press conference.

Police came on Sunday, after the protesters dispersed on Meeting and Amherst streets and proceeded through the Eastside terrorizing residents who were going about their regular day. Older folk on their stoops were totally taken unaware as police came through pushing folks, interrogating folks and frisking folks. It culminated in a coordinated military-like operation on Johnson Street Project, as we use to call it (formally Cooper River Court), where they fired rubber bullets and tear gas on residents,” Campbell said Monday.

The Eastside CDC and other community organizations call on the mayor to apologize for the assault on innocent civilians and address criminal justice and economic justice reforms in the City of Charleston. We wrote the mayor (John Tecklenburg) and Police Chief Luther Reynolds concerning our grievance against the coalition of law enforcement for the egregious actions that took place on Sunday, May 31. We have heard no response.”

Requests for comments from Mayor Tecklenburg and Chief Reynolds for this story were not received by press time Tuesday.

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