Earlier this week, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) submitted a letter at a meeting of the North Charleston City Council’s Police Research Evaluation Committee in support of an independent racial bias audit of the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD). The Committee voted unanimously to begin drafting a statement of work to be used by the city’s procurement department to solicit proposals from qualifying firms. LDF’s testimony focused on the importance of the audit given the NCPD’s long history of violence against communities of color and racial disparities in policing practices.
“The racial impact of the North Charleston Police Department’s practices must be reviewed, made public, and addressed,” said Monique Dixon, LDF’s Director of State Advocacy and Deputy Policy Director. “Over the last five years, residents have demanded much-needed change and, until now, the city has done little to respond to their requests. The Committee’s unanimous vote to draft a statement of work for potential auditors is an initial step toward understanding and addressing persistent racial disparities in policing in North Charleston.”
On April 13, 2020, LDF, the ACLU of South Carolina, and Charleston Area Justice Ministry sent a letter to Mayor Keith Summey and City Council members urging them to hire a qualified, independent auditor to conduct a racial bias audit of the NCPD. The letter was sent just days after the fifth anniversary of the unlawful shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man killed on April 4, 2015 by the NCPD during a routine traffic stop. To date, over 300 area residents and leaders signed onto the letter’s demands.
You can read LDF’s letter here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.