CLOUT: Mayor Fischer needs to urge LMPD to improve shooting de-escalation tactics

April 13, 2018. Courier-Journal.
Whenever there is a police shooting in our community there is much back-and-forth commentary and disagreement about whether the shooting could have been avoided. When the victim is a person of color, questions and disagreements become even more acute.

When the health problems of mental illness or addiction are involved, additional questions about avoidability arise. As a community that identifies itself as one of compassion, this topic is one that we must discuss and work on together for improvement, for the sake of our citizens and police officers alike.

Charleston officials consider recommendations for police racial bias study

April 4, 2018. Charleston City Paper.

City officials amended a document outlining recommendations for an upcoming audit to determine whether racial bias plays a part in Charleston policing practices at a sparsely-attended public meeting Wednesday morning.

Members of the ad-hoc police audit committee updated a scope of work proposal written by the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM), a local social justice advocacy group made up of 28 local congregations and organizations.

Charleston will host a public meeting on the racial bias police audit Wednesday morning

April 2, 2018. Charleston City Paper.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about the practices of the Charleston Police Department, Wednesday morning’s public meeting might be your best forum yet.

The City of Charleston is hosting a public meeting on the issue on Wed. April 4 at 10 a.m. at 2 George Street.

The meeting will be the first public move in an effort to clarify what will be reviewed before the search for an auditing firm begins. It will be chaired by city councilman and Public Safety Committee chairman Peter Shahid.

CAJM Moving Past Its Successes Onto Affordable Housing In 2018

February 16, 2018. The Charleston Chronicle. 

Charleston Area Justice Ministry President Rev. Charles Heyward thinks the network of faith-based congregations ended 2017 on a high note, though there were some disappointments. Currently some 28 congregations are members of the organization formed in 2011 to address social justice issues. Its first initiative in 2012 was to address Schools/Education and Crime/Violence.  Each year since CAJM successfully has challenged issues that include wage inequity and police bias. Last November members voted to address affordable housing and gentrification in 2018.

Charleston to hire new firm to audit police department, a move interfaith group begged for

November 28, 2017. The Post and Courier.

The city of Charleston is heeding the call of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry to find a new firm to audit its police department.

The city hired Novak Consulting of Cincinnati earlier this year to audit multiple city departments to improve their performance, a scope of work that included a review of the police department. Members of the local interfaith group have argued repeatedly at City Council meetings that the firm doesn’t have enough experience identifying potentially racially-biased police practices.

On Tuesday, Charleston City Council approved a decision made by the Public Safety Committee to remove the police audit from Novak’s contract and begin searching for a new firm to do the job.