Lowcountry civil rights groups are pushing the U.S. Department of Justice to release a review it conducted of the North Charleston Police last year, after the agency announced it would no longer continue the Obama-era program.
Several groups held a press conference Wednesday calling on the agency to release what it found in the city’s police department in the months after an officer shot and killed an unarmed Walter Scott following a traffic stop struggle. The Justice Department has said it will revamp its Collaborative Reform Initiative and end the practice of reviewing law enforcement procedures for civil rights concerns.
“We need to have accountability,” ACLU South Carolina executive director Shaundra Young Scott said. “We need to have a proper assessment of the way police practices are being held at this moment.”
The report was supposed to have been released earlier this summer. Local groups such as the NAACP, Charleston Area Justice Ministry and The Coalition insist the public has a right to know what was in its findings.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told the North Charleston City Council earlier this week he was disappointed the Justice Department had pulled out of its commitment, according to the Charleston Post & Courier. “We need to know which one of those practices are not working sufficiently,” he said, “and that’s why we were asking the federal government to give us that information.”