|2013 Crimes Occurred On Both Sides Of The Law
12/31/2013 1:34:45 PM
By Barney Blakeney
Officials said crime in the greater Charleston community went down in 2013, but for many in the Black community crime was as prevalent as ever.
In recent years shooting deaths in the county’s two major cities and the county as a whole were reduced. There were 39 homicides in Charleston County in 2012. To date there have been 25 homicides in the county. But the toll of Homicides continues to weigh more heavily in the Black community.
In North Charleston where there have been some 13 homicides all but three victims have been Black. All six Charleston homicide victims have been Black and all but five of the homicide victims in the county have been Black.
The deaths of two Black men West Ashley seems to signal the spread of violent crime that previously characterized downtown Charleston and North Charleston. However North Charleston still leads the area in violent crime.
But it was a crime that originated in Charleston that most provoked the community in 2013. In October 25-year-old William Apps was shot in the head and his body left in a wooded area of Mount Pleasant by 19-year-old Jquan Williams. Williams lured Apps into a trap with an offer to buy Apps’ truck.
James Island also was the set for another shooting death many in the Black community consider a crime. There’s no reason Derryl Drayton should be dead. That’s what members of the Charleston Branch NAACP said after the 51-year-old James Island man was killed Oct. 12 by Charleston County Sheriff Department deputies responding to a domestic disturbance call.
Drayton’s sister called police to the family’s Greenhill Road home and reported that Drayton, who had a history of mental illness, had threatened her life as well as his own. The two deputies who fired the fatal shots have been exonerated.
And while violent crime occupied the spotlight in the Black community, the aura of white collar crime also illuminated a perception of crime gone wild.
In January former South Carolina State University Trustee Board Chairman Jonathan Pinson and former SCSU Chief of Police Michael Bartley were indicted on allegations of participating in a kick back scheme.
Their indictments followed the February 2012 announcement of the termination of eight school officials - attorney, Edwin Givens; Chief of Police, Michael Bartley; Interim Vice President of Finance, Joseph Pearman; Vice President of Student Affairs, Charles Smith; Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Lowan Pitt; Director of Student Life and Leadership, Lillian Adderson; Director of Campus Services, Brantley Evans; and Director of Intramural sports, Gene Breeland.
The idea that officials also have been perpetrators of crime in 2013 continues toward the year’s end as North Charleston police contend with the abuse of a 15-year-old Black girl at the hands of a white North Charleston police officer.
According to police reports, two officers were involved in the arrest after the girl was ordered to leave the Northwoods Mall premises where sports shoes being debuted for sale drew a crowd of about 250 customers.
The two officers placed the girl on the hood of the patrol car with her torso on the hood, but she continued to rise up. That’s when one officer could be heard using profanity telling her to stay on the hood.
North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers issued a statement saying the department’s Office of Professional Standards has initiated an investigation. The investigation is incomplete, but the language used by the officer “is not acceptable by department policy or our standard of professional conduct,” he said.
Charleston NAACP Branch President Dorothy Scott asked, “If they did that in a non-threatening situation involving a 15-year-old girl, what happens at other times?”