Local group calls for action against racial discrimination within police practices

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCBD)–  Charleston Area Justice Ministry held a press conference on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. outside of North Charleston City Hall.

CAJM is an interfaith non-profit network made up of 30 congregations and organizations.

Last year, the group called for an independent and external audit of both the City of Charleston and City of North Charleston Police Departments.

The North Charleston Police Department is currently being reviewed by the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services also known as COPS.

CAJM members say they are encouraged by The City of North Charleston’s steps to review their Police Department but they say the City of Charleston has failed to do the same.

Several departments of the City of Charleston are currently undergoing an audit by the Novak Consulting Group and the Raftelis Financial Consultants.

The city’s police department is included in the audit but the CAJM says the current audit is not focused on racial bias.

The group also says the two firms conducting the audit do not specialize in community policing.

We reached out to the City of Charleston for a response.

“After a competitive bidding process that was conducted in accordance with city procurement laws, the City of Charleston has hired a nationally recognized firm to conduct an equity-based police audit of the kind CAJM has requested. This is in addition to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) audit process that the Charleston Police Department recently completed, and which resulted in a recommendation for reaccreditation at the highest level. We look forward to reviewing the data and analyses from both of these audits, and will continue to work with our outstanding police officers, community leaders and citizens to keep our city safe with equitable and effective police practices and procedures.”–City of Charleston spokesperson Jack O’Toole

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