Firm seeks community’s input for racial bias in Charleston Police Department

February 7, 2019. The Post and Courier.

Inside a meeting hall at Ebenezer AME Church on Charleston’s East Side Thursday night, Fouche Sheppard shared a story of how she was pulled over by a police officer she believed had profiled her.

The officer told her he thought she was an African American male before letting her go, she said.

Sheppard’s story was one of a handful shared during the first town hall meeting held as part of an eight-month, $158,556 racial bias audit of the Charleston Police Department by the Virginia-based firm CNA. Although small in attendance, a number of residents from the East Side neighborhood shared personal stories, suggestions on ways to increase community collaboration with police and asked questions about how a police department that seems to have drifted away from true, community-level policing can begin to right the course. 

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.