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. 

Friday Editorial: ICARE remains a powerful voice

January 4, 2019. The Florida Times-Union.

The scene for an ICARE meeting is impressive.

There is a sea of people in the church pews, but they aren’t all from one congregation or faith: there are Christians, Jews, Unitarians, Baha’is and more, making up a wonderful human quilt of Jaclsonville.

And the meeting they’re attending in this church won’t take hours: it’s a highly structured one with just a few minutes reserved for every speaker.

It’s appropriate, because ICARE has always been about turning words into real, tangible action.

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.

North Charleston moves forward with new DOJ agreement as activist groups demand police assessment

October 27, 2017. Charleston City Paper.

North Charleston City Council unanimously voted to approve a new memorandum of understanding with the Department of Justice, further cementing the federal agency’s step away from collaborative reform with the city’s police department.