NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Three North Charleston police officers are facing disciplinary action in connection with a case that drew attention over excessive force. Earlier this month, civil rights leaders and elected officials called for justice in the form of a racial bias audit.
The North Charleston Police Department says it won’t be releasing the video of the incident that occurred at a North Charleston hotel on May 9th but those who have seen it say it shows a North Charleston Police officer using excessive force on an individual being detained.
In a statement, the police department says; “The officers, who were found to have acted inconsistently with North Charleston Police Department policy, will face disciplinary actions and mandatory enrollment into a critical incident training program through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).”
The Statement goes on to say “Chief Burgess expects nothing but professionalism from our officers and when we make a mistake, we acknowledge the mistake and correct the deficiency.”
On May 19th, Civil Rights Groups including the National Action Network called for the North Charleston Police Department to immediately conduct a Racial Bias Audit. Reverend Nelson B. Rivers lll of the National Action Network says an audit should have been conducted after the death of Walter Scott back in 2015.
“And that’s what an audit would reveal. The audit would simply show as it did in the City of Charleston, is there bias, is there profiling,” says Rivers.
The City of North Charleston says it will be forming a 5 person city council member committee appointed by Mayor Summey to review organizational culture and community analysis of the department from 2019 to better understand the practices and perceptions of the department.
They City says if Chief of Police Reggie Burgess believes additional steps are required they will be further explored. Reverend Rivers says he believes the committee is further delaying a racial bias audit.
“Nothing that they are going to investigate or review is going to change the need for an audit,” says Rivers.
North Charleston leaders say they plan to discuss the committee at a city council meeting but will not discuss it during Thursday’s council meeting due to Chief Burgess being in self isolation with his family after potentially being exposed to COVID-19 during a funeral.