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Re: “Midnight bar ordinance goes back to the drawing board

"We basically took a long-term approach to what could be a shorter-term issue"

So basically in the short term they are not going to push this but in the long term they will. Nicely done.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by nofaith on July 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

I am saying that the police see being a young black male as a major contributing factor to being suspicious.

I think this is endemic to the police in terms of culture and in terms of policy, and not something attributable to individually bad or personally racist actors.

I'm not sure if that falls into what we would traditionally think of as racism but if that's how you want to play it I'm ok with being labeled as having that opinion... but yes, everyone is lucky that it was a black police officer - the divisive nature of racial politics would make even the fractured and haltering discussion we're having now impossible had he been white. That hypothetical actually underscores the Us vs. Them mentality that I am talking about - one that both sides of the racial divide are still firmly entrenched in.

Posted by HappyPessimist on July 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

So, what you're vaguely suggesting is that we've now reached a point where black police officers are also racist?

And thank God it was a black man (although I feel incredibly sorry for him) - can you imagine the outrage if this was a white officer?

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by wiser on July 18, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Re: “McConnell must do a lot to earn the respect of CofC students

Native Chas,

Thanks for your dismissive red-herring opinion that adds nothing to the debate. I wish I were still a college "kid" and even if that were so, plenty of people are able to think that more than one thing is important at a time. I believe that political graft and cronyism are bad things and so I will argue that they are, even when there are other things going on in the world. I believe that obvious unethical and opaque hiring practices at public institutions are also bad things, and so I will also argue about that even when other things are happening.

I understand that you think this corrupt and wasteful behavior by our state legislature and the governing body of a public institution is no big deal because you like McConnell's politics. It doesn't, however, make the behavior okay. That's kind of been my point all along.

Yes, VaSteve, still whining. Sorry to disturb your ignorant slumber.

3 of 4 people like this.
Posted by HappyPessimist on July 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Re: “Iraq nearly broke James Hardin. Ecstasy is helping him rebuild.

Great story...I hope you continue to improve and thank you for being part of the research. It is much needed so researchers can get the support needed to help other military members. Thank you for putting the story out to the public to reduce the mystery and misinformation many people believe. All good...

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by foodycharlie on July 18, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Uber Ice Cream will deliver frozen treats to Charleston on Friday

Why does Ima hate the children?

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Adam Davidson on July 18, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

No, and nobody is saying that probable cause is needed to talk to someone. That's fine. But it was Curnell's right to choose not to speak to him.

Probable cause is also not needed to ask someone to take their hands out of their pockets. That's also fine. But it was Curnell's right to choose not to comply.

My point is that the mere fact of exercising a few of his basic rights as a free citizen should not have escalated the situation in the officer's mind. The simple assertion of his own constitutional rights prompted the officer to get violent - and that is a problem, regardless of whether the officer turned out to be right on his contraband hunch or not.

If Curnell had not encountered Medlin and had gone on to, perhaps, CONTINUE to not do anything violent, then he wouldn't be DEAD.

Your statement on the NAACP is irrelevant. Black on black crime, like all citizen on citizen crime, is a problem and one that they speak to on a pretty regular basis. It's a sad reality and one that is both unavoidable and unfixable in the short term. POLICE on black crime, however, shouldn't happen ever, at all, right now - and this situation smells really bad. I don't believe it's the officer's individual fault, I think it's a cultural problem and one that is tremendously exacerbated by the ease and widespread prevalence and social approval of firearms combined with a racial compartmentalization that makes young black males automatically suspicious and easy to think of as "enemies."

Posted by HappyPessimist on July 18, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Re: “A chat with "Drunk History" creator Derek Waters inside a van outside The Royal American

"Charleston is a town that knows its history" ??? not from my experience. I was in the tour business for years. One of the top peeves of licensed tour guides is locals bringing out of town guests on tours and loudly and incorrectly contradicting the guide.

6 of 7 people like this.
Posted by Ima Oldman on July 18, 2014 at 6:35 AM

Re: “Uber Ice Cream will deliver frozen treats to Charleston on Friday

City Paper supporting an illegal business. hmm......

0 of 4 people like this.
Posted by Ima Oldman on July 18, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

Probable cause is not needed for a policeman to speak to someone, for whatever reason.

Once Curnell refused to take his hands out of his pocket, he escalated the situation.

Sadly, if Curnell had not encountered Medlin and had gone on to, perhaps, fatally shoot another black male with the stolen firearm he was unlawfully concealing, there would have been nearly zero interest in this from the NAACP or "black community leaders." You KNOW that's true.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Cid95 on July 18, 2014 at 2:41 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

Such great detail from someone who was not there? Could pass for rabble rousing and sure hope no one gets hurt because of it.

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Streetlaw on July 18, 2014 at 1:52 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

Officer Medlin didn't know Curnell, so the "distant look" in Curnell's eyes wasn't familiar to him. As far as he knew, it could've been the look of someone working up the nerve to shoot or rob someone. In this case, it was the look of someone contemplating suicide, but Medlin wouldn't have any way of knowing that. If an officer approaches someone that is visibly disturbed in some way, and that person may have their hand on a weapon (which Curnell apparently did), of course that officer's going to look out for his own safety. Suppose Medlin had been dealing with someone exhibiting the same demeanor as Curnell, but was far more nefarious with intentions of harming Medlin or someone else. Is Medlin just supposed to walk up to the guy and get shot? Medlin suspected Curnell might have had a weapon, and it turned out Medlin was right. And with Curnell standing there, his HAND ON THE GUN IN HIS POCKET and figuring Medlin was about to find it, does no one here believe at least the thought of using it on Medlin didn't cross his mind? Maybe Medlin getting his gun out first prevented that.

I'm sure Medlin doesn't draw his gun every time he approaches someone wearing a hoodie in Bridgeview, so something about Curnell's actions and mannerisms alarmed him. Medlin listened to his senses. It's not his fault Curnell chose to take his own life as a result.

As for the hoodie, no, it's not normal to wear that when it's 85 degrees outside, especially with the hood up. I'd be willing to bet that Curnell was the only person Medlin saw wearing one all night. Suppose someone else walked by wearing a hoodie with their face hidden under it that night. Suppose that person went on to rob someone a few minutes later. Don't you think Medlin would then be getting questioned on why he didn't check that person out when he first saw him? Did he profile him based on the hoodie? Yes. Did Curnell stand out because he was wearing one? Yes. Is that illegal? No, but it's also not illegal for the police to notice it when it seems out of place. Did Medlin profile him based on race? Doesn't seem like it; I don't see how you can possibly profile someone for being black in a neighborhood where everyone else is. Curnell's race didn't raise suspicion, his clothing, demeanor and mannerisms did. Those are on him, not Medlin.

And one more thing for the few folks that suspect some type of conspiracy based on left-handed Curnell using his right hand to fire the gun. The Army may have trained him to shoot right handed if he was right eye dominant.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Paulius on July 18, 2014 at 12:03 AM

Re: “Letter: Carriage horses can take the heat

Humans have a choice in the kind of work they choose and a horse doesn't. How about those carriage owners invest in more human powered transpiration methods to haul the fat ass tourist around. I bring my family to Charleston every year for vacation, and am disgusted when I see those poor horses pulling people around in the heat. They look miserable and I don't think they look healthy. I have always refused to partake in a carriage ride and have taught my son that it is cruelty.

You folks that don't have empathy for animals will pay the ultimate price some day. Karma is real.
I love Charleston and think it is an awesome place to visit. But every year I dread having to see those poor horses. It makes me sick. I avoid the downtown area on our trips and would spend more time walking around down there if the horses went away.

I am a tourist. I don't like the carragies. I don't think I'm in the minority. We have evolved too much to let this cruelty play out on our American streets.

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Russ Hensley on July 17, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Re: “McConnell must do a lot to earn the respect of CofC students

Are y'all still whining?

2 of 3 people like this.
Posted by VaSteve on July 17, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Re: “McConnell must do a lot to earn the respect of CofC students

I think to appease the "All up in the air about McConnell" crowd let's make a trade. I'll take McConnell for the US President and the C of C crowd can get their best man, the man himself. That's about as fair as it gets. You get what you want and I get rid of what I do not need in a million years. If you believe you were shafted while in college over this Lil college prez event wait until you try to survive in the mess on the outside. You think your little college world has gone to hell over this? Sad to tell you college kids,the future is dim and you all better start paying attention to real issues. FYI-McConnell generally unites people, he researches and considers all options before moving forward. Hard to unite a hard-ass or idiot. Some of you need to learn the practice no matter what one might want to call it. Somehow I knew he would be the next Prez in May, 2013 and imagine that the panel still wasted $100K. It is easy to waste someone else's money. That is the first lesson to learn, quit wasting the taxpayers money. We are "all" 17 Trillion in the hole and counting.

3 of 8 people like this.
Posted by Native Charlestonian on July 17, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Re: “A chat with "Drunk History" creator Derek Waters inside a van outside The Royal American

Drunken behavior has always been a great source for comedic artists; however, with alcohol and drug abuse/addiction considered an epidemic in our country, maybe we shouldn't be endorsing drunken behavior as something funny or in any way acceptable. It's like your Uncle Benny who likes to tip a few too many back at family gatherings. He makes an ass out of himself occasionally and it's funny. But, then he's getting hammered and making an ass of himself every time he's around. Then it's not that funny. Just my humble opinion....

1 of 8 people like this.
Posted by jenna021060 on July 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Re: “TONIGHT: Mayor Riley, city officials want your input on midnight bar closing ordinance

If Riley wanted anyone's input about anything he would not be Joe Riley.

He along with his obedient council proposed and passed the bill without any proper hearing or concern for the impact on business owners and employees.

If Riley cared about citizens input he would not have allowed James Island to be overdeveloped and broken his promises of low density zoning. If he cared about input the CFD would have been modernized long before the Sofa Super Store Tragedy occurred. If her cared about input there would not be a cruise terminal being built in an already congested location and burning heavy bunker fuel. If Riley cared about input the City Marina would be serving the public with a boat landing and access to recreational boating for citizens of average means rather than catering to mega yachts.

Riley's entire career has been about doing things the way he thinks is best, input, facts, and consideration of the impact of average citizens are not something he concerns himself with. To expect different is absurd if you look at his track record.

I expect he will form a committee to study the issue, and if they dare come up with any recommendations that differ from his ordinance he will disregard them and pass the ordinance anyway just as he did with the smoking ban committee.

5 of 6 people like this.
Posted by Anthony Placebo on July 17, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

I am not suggesting that the officer should not have tried to chat with Curnell. I am suggesting that a "distant" look in someone's eyes (which is SUCH a subjective descriptor - let's replace it with "pensive" and see if the situation changes) might raise suspicions but it should not be used as probable cause. He can ask him to take his hands out of his pockets and I understand suspicions being raised even more when he doesn't - but that's STILL not probable cause.

At that point, yes, ideally he should have gone back to his car and called for backup. It was not an emergency and even if he felt threatened it was clear he wasn't in immediate danger. Then he could have made it clear to Curnell that while he was in the neighborhood he was going to have some company, stayed close, and kept an eye on him.

Or any number of other hopefully non-violent and non-confrontational options. Instead he chose to draw a weapon, forcibly detain, and subsequently tackle someone who had not broken (to his knowledge) or was in the process of breaking any laws - all on the basis of vague suspicion.

I understand and can respect the opinion that sees this situation, and the fact that he did have the gun as validation of the officer's suspicions. However the unavoidable corollary to that opinion is that the officer was also very wrong on the kid's intention to use the weapon on him. And now the kid is dead. It's not the officer's fault, but he had as many options as he wanted, and he chose the most violent semi-legal option available to him.

It's that fact, that there were still so many unknown circumstances and the fact that Curnell was only appearing to be suspicious and had not broken any laws that lead me to conclude that the officer should have acted with more caution and more restraint, because that's how I want police to treat me if I happen to be wearing a hoodie and not in the mood for conversation.

1 of 2 people like this.
Posted by HappyPessimist on July 17, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Re: “TONIGHT: Mayor Riley, city officials want your input on midnight bar closing ordinance

I would like to have some natural organic hawaiian plant dependency to go along with my chemical dependency. This selective midnight closing business is simply too foolish for anyone to agree to. There will be a nice sized group there from the F & B industry who oppose the ordinance proposed by the Ministry of Silly Rules here in the Chuck.

5 of 5 people like this.
Posted by CIACulinaryKid on July 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

I appreciate your opinion. And I fully acknowledge that a police officer is held to a higher standard than a criminal. But again, his job is to identify suspicious individuals in the area. That's the definition of this particular off-duty security position. It wasn't only the clothing that raised his suspicions. If you are a law enforcement officer (LEO) and you approach someone originally just to chat (as is his right and duty in his position) and that person responds by turning to you, acknowledging you, but refusing to speak to you or take his hand out of his pocket , then you will naturally feel threatened. "The manner in which he was concealing his hand" was what made the officer reach for his own weapon in self defense.

Are you suggesting the LEO should never have tried to chat with Curnell in the first place? In that case, he wouldn't be doing his job. Or should he have returned to his car when Curnell wouldn't speak to him?
Officers are supposed to, by law, stop and question someone when they have reasonable suspicion that they have committed or are about to commit a crime. Let's see, he was acting strangely by his movements and the distant look on his face, refused to speak with an officer, was wearing clothing inappropriate for the weather, was lurking around a neighborhood he didn't live in; a known, high violent crime neighborhood, with one hand concealing something in his pocket. To me, that is enough suspicion to approach him. And as it turns out, he was 100% correct - he was in the process of committing a crime - he was carrying a stolen weapon.

Officers must have the freedom to use their best judgement in these cases. Do some take that too far? Sure. I'm certain some do. Working with aggressive individuals can often make you aggressive as well in order to deal with it. They have to learn to put feelings and ego aside. But I haven't read anything in this case, from either side, that suggests the officer involved did ANYTHING wrong. This young man was troubled and yes, perhaps the stop from the officer caused his emotions to escalate and make the horrible decision he made (we don't know how it would have ended otherwise) but there was no way the officer could have known that. He did his job.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by HOBYCAT on July 17, 2014 at 4:05 PM
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