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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?
To Mayor Summey and Chief Driggers: Body Cameras Not The Only “Fix” For N. Chas. Cops
4/16/2015 5:00:32 PM

After watching/listening to your press conference on 4/7/15, at the end of it I was totally disgusted because it seemed more about how you were feeling because one of your officers "did something wrong" that was caught on video, and less about being outraged at the fact the the police actually murdered someone, and thankful there was video to prove it.  

I also watched and listened carefully to your press conference today.  At the beginning it seemed that politics had been completely removed and I was very pleased with both your statements.  I thought - wow, what a difference a day makes. They are both sincere, they understand what the family AND the community are feeling and they are truly going to address the concerns of a hurting family and an anxious community.    

Then halfway through the question and answer period, the atmosphere and the answers became the disgustingly business as usual that my community has become so accustomed to.  Mayor Summey, you not only took over the mic from Chief Driggers, but your tone and your answers made me think that all you wanted was to say whatever needed to be said in order to keep the peace in an election year.  If your long-time friend Chief Driggers, cannot answer questions from the media and residents of this community without the Mayor doing it for him, then maybe he should not hold that position.

The problem here Mr. Mayor and Chief Driggers is that this is a very volatile time in our community (and an election year) and you cannot keep the peace if you come across as a bully, display a "plantation mentality" or act/respond in a manner that further erodes the trust we have in you as mayor and police chief.

It would have been far more beneficial to everyone to come prepared to share what the Department was doing to ensure this does not happen again.  Have you done anything in the past as far as training?  What makes this a rare occurrence versus a norm for the North Charleston Police Department?  Why was this officer comfortable doing this?  Do other officers feel the same way?  Should my community fear retaliation from other officers because one of your own got caught?  And by the way, the response that you have 'looked all over and can't find any qualified African American Police Officers' is not an acceptable answer.  This is a standard response that African American communities around the nation have heard to discriminatory practices for over 50 years and is still as totally unbelievable today as it was then.

Finally, we should not have to contact your office if we want to be involved in the City's planned dialogue.  This makes it seem as though there will be a selective group.  Why not open it up to the "community" by you contacting us and letting us know what, when and where?  Don't limit it to one forum and please, please, please be willing to listen and provide honest answers.

Iris Wilson
North Charleston, SC

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