Black Lives Matter calls for citizen review board in wake of Walter Scott death

Muhiyidin D'Baha with Black Lives Matter is demanding a citizens review board for the City of North Charleston during a press conference at city hall on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Wade Spees/Staff

Calls for the development of a citizen review board to oversee the actions of police and city officials in North Charleston continued Thursday during a news conference held by Black Lives Matter Charleston.

The organization, a grassroots coalition of concerned citizens, demanded that city officials set a date to discuss the issue by 7 p.m. Friday. The date, the group stipulated, must be within seven days.

“They will hear our voices. They will hear the people suffering,” said Muhiyidin D’Baha, a member of the organization.

Dot Scott, the president of the Charleston Branch of the NAACP, mirrored a similar sentiment during a news conference earlier in the day. A review would help prevent officers from policing other offers when complaints are issued, she said.

Speaking for Black Lives Matter, D’Baha questioned whether Patrolman 1st Class Michael Slager, the officer who fatally shot an unarmed Walter Scott, would have been charged if video of the incident hadn’t surfaced.

D’Baha criticized the media for “perpetuating falsehoods” about the black community and accepting accounts offered by law enforcement as truth.

“Your cameras may leave, but we’ll still be here making this city a safer place,” D’Baha said.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.