SC reform groups raise questions about Charleston report on May protests


Thousands of protesters marched downtown Charleston on May 30 | Lauren Hurlock file photo

Two S.C. justice reform advocacy groups delivered a letter Oct. 22 to Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, Police Chief Luther Reynolds and members of Charleston City Council objecting to the city’s assessment of police response to the May 30-31 protests.

“This report is a masterclass in the use of hollow rhetoric and passing the buck” American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina Executive Director Frank Knaack said in a press release. “There is a stark difference between the image and reality of the CPD.”

The letter pens a list of concerns with the city’s “After Action Report,” including claims of factual inaccuracies and omissions, selective use of inflammatory and passive language, violations of CPD’s internal policies and more.

“Law enforcement officers take an oath to protect and serve all of us,” SC4CJR Founder and Executive Director Allie Menegakis said in a press release. “Protecting and serving all of us means that CPD and other agencies must not only be transparent in their good practices, but also their mistakes.”

The letter comes after other previous letters sent by the ACLU of SC June 2 and July 29 calling on local law enforcement leaders to explain the idea behind “responding to non-violent protests against police violence with more police violence,” a press release said.

The June 2 letter also included a list of demands, including a public apology from law enforcement leaders. The city of Charleston responded on June 22, ignoring questions and demands and defending law enforcement’s actions on May 31.

The full text of last Thursday’s letter can be found at aclusc.org.

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