Charleston City Leaders Clash Over Specialized Audit for Racial Bias in Police Department – Charleston City Paper

Among the members of City Council who voted in favor of Councilman Lewis’ unsuccessful resolution were also the same Charleston officials who promised to support such an effort during CAJM’s Nehemiah Action Assembly in April. The other council members supporting Lewis’ resolution were Robert Mitchell, Marvin Wagner, William Dudley Gregorie, and Keith Waring. Councilman Gary White was not present for Tuesday’s vote.

Prior to the vote, Councilman Lewis voiced his concerns over the alleged actions of other members of council. According to Lewis, he submitted his resolution to the clerk of council’s office, but two unnamed council members entered the clerk’s office and requested copies of the resolution, which was disseminated prior to being added to City Council’s agenda.

“I don’t know the reason, but sitting on this council, I have the right to present a resolution to this city — whether they agree with it or not. For council members to come and try to undermine what I do because they don’t like what I do, I think that’s not right. We are elected officials. We have a right to our opinions,” said Lewis, who said that his resolution was in no way an attack on retiring Police Chief Greg Mullen.

Councilman Waring reiterated that the call for a specialized auditing firm wasn’t about Mullen’s job as the head of police. Waring did question the procurement process that led to the selection of Novak as the firm to examine the police department’s practices. Waring bemoaned the lack of diversity among Novak’s staff as well as the committee responsible for selecting Novak, a decision that was approved by City Council. Toward the close of Tuesday’s meeting, Tecklenburg agreed to name Waring as the head of the committee tasked with re-evaluating the city’s procurement process for outside firms in the future.

“To put a process in place that is going to assess the performance and best practices of every department in the city and not have any minorities involved in that process, that’s not transparent, Mr. Mayor. And that you should be ashamed of,” said Waring.

He later added, “Politics won tonight. Not fair and openness. Not inclusion. Not unity.”

Source: Charleston city leaders clash over specialized audit for racial bias in police department – Charleston City Paper

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