Commentary: North Charleston Police Department still needs a racial bias audit

March 31, 2020. The Post and Courier.

In his recent op-ed, North Charleston City Councilman Ron Brinson said the city’s police department had a “mind-numbing wake-up call” nearly five years ago after the murder of Walter Scott by then-Officer Michael Slager.

For many black residents, the killing of Walter Scott was not a wake-up call but rather another example of their continued lived experience. And had a video of the shooting been held a few days longer, we likely would have witnessed yet another police department declaring as justified the shooting of another black man.

How the fight for racial justice pushed Charleston beyond the segregated hour

February 24, 2020. Religion News Service.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (RNS) — On a Monday night in April 2016, more than 2,000 people packed into Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston. The crowd included black and white Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, as well as Reform Jews, Unitarians, local activists and other community members. They weren’t there for worship but to confront racial bias in policing practices.

The gathering was the culmination of months of work by the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, which began in the intimacy of private homes the previous fall. People shared stories of the concerns that kept them up at night. A common refrain, particularly of black residents, was being stopped by the police for no apparent reason. The practice, known as an “investigatory stop,” had led to the murder of a black man named Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer.

‘We are not going to go away.’ Faith-based group, superintendent in standoff over suspensions.

November 26, 2019. Kentucky.com

A disagreement between a Lexington faith-based organization and Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk came to a head at this week’s school board meeting as group leaders repeated a charge that Caulk had ignored their requests to consider a proposed solution to the disproportionate suspensions of black students.

“We turned out tonight because we are tired of being ignored,” said Rev. Joseph Owens, co-President of the organization called BUILD, Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct-Action. BUILD members say they have been trying get a meeting with Caulk since January 2019.

Charleston Area Justice Ministry continues push for audit of N. Charleston police department

May 28, 2019. WCSC.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – The Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) is calling for an audit of the North Charleston Police Department in a citizen’s advisory commission meeting on Tuesday.

The North Charleston Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Community-Police Relations will meet at 6:30 p.m. at North Charleston City Hall.

The Charleston Area Justice Ministry says they called for an audit of both the Charleston and North Charleston Police Departments a few years ago.

Leaders, advocacy group discuss solutions to homelessness, police/community relations

April 9, 2019. WFLX.COM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Three major topics for Palm Beach County’s marginalized talked with leaders who could change laws: addressing homelessness, community ID’s and police relations with the community. They met at the Palm Beach County Convention Center Monday.

On homelessness, PEACE or People Engaged in Active Community Efforts, says the here more than 4,000 children without a home in Palm Beach County.

To spur action, they invited Palm Beach County Commissioners to present their solution: speed up the construction of the county’s second homelessness shelter.