Annual Assembly to address racial discrimination in police practices

Courtesy: Facebook

The Fourth Annual Nehemiah Action Assembly is Monday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Mount Moriah Baptist Church in North Charleston.

People of faith will meet in North Charleston to advocate for justice for all Lowcountry residents.

The event is made up of organizers of 30 Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations gathering to work for solutions to some of the area’s most pressing problems.

In a press release, organizers listed an action plan for the event:

1. Ask our Police Departments to develop a specific and measurable plan to reduce the practice of investigatory stops

2. Hire an external, independent police auditor for a one-time, short-term audit of bias-based policing in stops, questioning, frisks and searches by no later than mid-summer 2016

3. By a specific date by the end of the 2016, establish a permanent independent police auditor’s office for both North Charleston police department and Charleston police department that would fulfill the following criteria:

  • be entirely independent of the police department and executive office;
  • have a clearly defined scope, adequate resources and unfettered access to data and personnel;
  • full cooperation from law enforcement and sanctions for failure to cooperate; ability to make regular and comprehensive reports to the public on findings and recommendations, and inclusive community involvement

4. have full participation of police officials in a task force with cajm members and other stakeholders designed to monitor the progress of implementation of nehemiah action “asks,” review and monitor implementation of the recommendations from the external and independent one-time police audit and monitor the establishment of a permanent independent police auditor’s office in each community.

There is some controversy surrounding this year’s event after North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and Police Chief, Eddie Driggers repeatedly declined invitations to attend. This year’s action is focused on providing solutions for an end to discriminatory policing practices. Members of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry spent six months researching the reality of racial discrimination in Charleston, particularly within policing.

In an email to News 2, The North Charleston Mayor’s Office said, “The City has met with CAJM recently… and it turned into something other than dialogue.” The statement goes on to say “the end result was a complete rebuke of North Charleston Public Officials and chastising of the entire police department.”

More information about the Assembly:

Nehemiah Assembly 2016
Charleston Area Justice Ministry
Monday, April 18 at 7:00 pm
register at 6:30 pm

There will be free childcare.

Mount Moriah Baptist Church
7396 Rivers Avenue
North Charleston, SC

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