At a Lowcountry NAACP forum, residents addressed concerns that the North Charleston Police Department uses racial profiling.
“We want to make sure that our officers are acting right out there,” says North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt.
Zumalt made this claim after the NAACP and city residents said the city’s police officers are racial profiling, harassing people, and making unnecessary police chases. Community members say North Charleston officers stop twice as many blacks as they do whites.
AJ Davis is Council President of the Chicora Neighborhood–a neighborhood which police keep a strong presence in.
“While there is a healthy respect for the police department, the way they go about doing the stops, they way they go about talking to individuals, they feel is less than professional,” says Davis.
Davis told ABC News 4 in Charleston the community appreciates police presence, but some in the neighborhood feel as if they are automatically viewed as criminals.
Chief Zumalt says traffic stops will continue. He also told the crowd at the forum that increased surveillance is needed to stop the violence and crime in the city.