CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A group of civil rights organizations in Charleston have rebuked how police handled a protest in the city that ended with at least six arrests. Charleston police had said the protest on Saturday was not permitted, and that demonstrators had impeded traffic and assaulted an officer. Police say the officer was not seriously injured. But the groups say police used aggressive tactics on protesters, provoking the unrest. They’re accusing Charleston Sheriff Al Cannon of trying to influence loyal supporters of President Donald Trump by getting tough on people who support Black lives. Cannon says he’s just doing his job.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina police officer has been suspended after videos showing him saying a racial slur in a confrontation with people outside a bar were posted on social media. In videos posted on social media, Sgt. Chad Walker, who is white, is heard saying a racial slur at least twice, saying that a Black man called him the slur. Police said in a news release that shortly after the confrontation, Walker’s commanders “immediately recognized that inappropriate actions occurred” and began an internal investigation and body camera review. Walker, a 14-year veteran of the department, has been suspended without pay pending the outcome that review.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – After months of delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Carolina lawmakers are getting ready to write this year’s budget. The first step comes Monday when the state Board of Economic Advisors plans to issue its estimate on how much the state will collect in taxes and fees for the year that started July 1. The Senate Finance Committee has a virtual meeting scheduled Tuesday to hear from the leaders of the state’s education, road and prison agencies. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom just closed the books on the 2019-2020 budget year Thursday and said South Carolina ended with a $775 million surplus.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office says a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper was hurt early Sunday when a driver crashed into the trooper’s vehicle. Sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Ryan Flood said in a statement that deputies responded shortly after midnight to a report of a pedestrian hit by a driver. They also asked the Highway Patrol to respond. Another driver hit the trooper’s vehicle at the scene. The trooper, who was conscious and alert, was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.