Justice Ministry calls for outside review of Charleston Police Department

November 22, 2016. The Post and Courier.

A day after Charleston officials touted the progress their police department has made in building trust with the community, the Charleston Area Justice Ministry said that wasn’t enough and urged City Council to hire a specialized firm to conduct an outside review of the department.

The interfaith group held a press conference announcing its position in Washington Square, just minutes before City Council’s Tuesday meeting next door at City Hall. Members of the ministry then repeated their message during the meeting and presented a petition from 500 residents calling for the audit.

Ministry officials said they want “a qualified, independent, external police auditor” to conduct a review of the police department to identify any policing tactics and policies rooted in racial biases.

Justice ministry renews call for outside audit of Charleston, North Charleston police

October 22, 2016. The Post and Courier.

An interfaith advocacy group is calling for a deeper, outside examination of Charleston police policies on pedestrian stops beyond Chief Greg Mullen’s planned review aimed at weeding out innocent people from a massive database culled from these encounters.

Members of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry said Mullen’s approach won’t get at the underlying problems with these stops or the racial disparities highlighted in The Post and Courier’s recent series, “Watched.” Erasing names from the database eliminates documentation of questionable stops without exploring the potential lessons they contain, said the Rev. Charles Heyward, co-president of the justice ministry.

Nehemiah Assembly seen as constructive, if tense

April 21, 2016. The Post and Courier. 

Both those asking the questions and answering them felt Monday night’s Nehemiah Action Assembly bore fruit — despite disagreement over the tension and repetition involved in the questioning.

After being grilled on police policies and procedures before an audience of more than 2,000 at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, Charleston officials said they were glad they went — and would go again.

1 North Charleston councilman at Nehemiah Assembly addressing discrimination, police practices

April 18, 2016. The Post and Courier.

Eleven public officials from North Charleston were invited to a gathering Monday night to discuss racial discrimination and police practices. One city councilman attended.

Thousands of people turn out every year for the Nehemiah Action Assembly, where public officials are confronted by the interfaith Charleston Area Justice Ministry about issues such as youth unemployment, juvenile incarceration and wage theft.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, ministers debate ‘investigatory stops’

April 19, 2016. ABCNews4.com

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg found out first-hand Monday night why many of his fellow leaders turned down an invitation to speak at the Charleston Area Justice Ministry rally Monday night.

More than 2,300 people attended the rally that sought the end to discriminatory practices.