Justice

The DOJ Launches Pattern or Practice Review of North Charleston

The Department of Justice has officially launched a review of the North Charleston police department in South Carolina, but unlike reviews we’ve seen in other cities, the city of North Charleston actually asked for this.

Not many city governments are as anxious and willing to look for where all the bodies are buried as North Charleston is.

From the Associated Press:

Chief Noble Wray of the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services office, or COPS, said the review was requested by the community and city officials and will cost up to $600,000.

Wray said there’ll be recommendations in about six months on suggested improvements in the department.

It’s an opportunity for us to look at ourselves by having other people look at us,” Mayor Keith Summey said.

This is a far cry from the not-so-welcome greeting the Justice Department received in the city of Ferguson, Missouri where the city government had to be forced to cooperate.

As you may recall, North Charleston is where Walter Scott was shot in the back and killed as he ran away from former police officer Michael Slager. Slager is facing federal civil rights charges in addition to murder charges.

The Justice Department will review racial disparities in enforcement of the law and the racial makeup of the police force, but results of the review won’t be published until next year.

If Republicans ever retake the White House, one of the first things they will do is shut down the Justice Department’s civil rights division and community policing programs. Under the George W. Bush administration, the Justice Department did nothing but chase phantom terrorists. Republicans would like to keep it that way.

  • I haven’t been to Charleston in a long time but when I lived back East and went there quite a lot, North Charleston was where the po folk lived (including the majority of the minority population) and the po folk was everybody who wasn’t a multi-millionaire. That’s because the actual city of Charleston is owned by the very wealthy people who own those iconic houses. If I recall correctly someone once told me that in order to own one of those homes a person would need to make several million a year just to maintain it (so that doesn’t include the millions it would cost to buy it). North Charleston has had it’s share of problems over the years but they have recently been electing leaders who are much more reflective of the community itself. It doesn’t surprise me that they had the shooting but it also doesn’t surprise me that the current Chief is asking for help. They are desperately trying to move into the 21st Century while the rest of the area is stuck in an economy and social structure from 150+ years ago. They won’t get any help from the surrounding communities that’s for sure.

    • JMAshby

      Lines up with what I know of the area. I haven’t been there but old college buddies all hail from Charleston and they come from moneyed families who own major property and/or businesses. This is Lindsey Graham’s base, what remains of it.

      The poor and even median income people are being squeezed out of cities and into the suburbs virtually everywhere.