North Charleston group presents reform suggestions to mayor, city

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey

The North Charleston Civil Coalition for Reform, a group that formed after Walter Scott’s shooting death, presented Thursday its list of goals to a City Council committee.

As is their policy, the Public Safety Committee, which includes the 10 council members and Mayor Keith Summey, listened but did not respond to the 11 points presented by Omar Muhammad, president of the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities, one of 13 groups that are part of the coalition.

Among the group’s demands is to assign a special prosecutor for all deadly force cases and institute monthly anti-racism training for officers.

Earlier this month, Summey agreed to give the group 10 minutes for a presentation at the meeting. Muhammad took just 3½ to read the list of reforms meant to help build trust and accountability in North Charleston.

“It was shorter than I expected,” said Summey, who earlier on Thursday attended a prayer vigil for the nine victims in the Emanuel AME Church shooting. Members of Black Lives Matter Charleston, which also is part of the coalition, were outside the vigil at Morris Black AME praying and holding signs.

“With everything that was going on today, we offered a chance to cancel it and come at the next meeting,” Summey said. “Kwadjo Campbell (with the coalition) said, ‘No, we’re coming.’ ”

Several members of the coalition arrived after Muhammad’s presentation, which was the first item on the agenda, and left as soon as the meeting adjourned. Council had two additional committee meetings immediately following the public safety meeting.

The group formed in the wake of North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael Slager’s deadly encounter with Walter Scott, a black man. A video showed Scott gunned down April 4 by Slager as he ran during a traffic stop. Slager has since been fired from the North Charleston Police Department and charged with murder.

A month after the shooting, the groups took a united front before North Charleston City Hall to outline their goals for reform after Summey refused to meet with members of Black Lives Matter Charleston who demanded a citizens review board with subpoena powers. Summey called the request unreasonable.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.