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Understand SC

Understand SC: Columbia police's response to protests sparked by George Floyd's death

A Post and Courier Podcast

  • Updated

Early in the summer, protests were held in cities across the country, sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

South Carolina was no different. 

Activists in Columbia and Charleston, in particular, took the streets, and while large-scale protests in both cities started peacefully, they escalated. Dozens of arrests were made in both cities. 

This week on the podcast, we're taking a look back at the protests in the capital and discussing what reporters found when they investigated law enforcement's characterization of protesters, which included claims that the group was stoked by outside agitators.   

Last month, a report from Jessica Holdman and Joseph Cranney concluded that some of the descriptions from police don't stick

Roughly 100 people were arrested the weekend of May 30-31 in connection to the protests. Most protesters face no more than a misdemeanor. But The Post and Courier's review identified 10 protesters charged with felonies even though arrest records note only curfew violations. 

Columbia law enforcement filed no fewer than 245 criminal charges — roughly twice the number of charges than law enforcement in Charleston where more than 150 businesses looted and 20 police vehicles damaged the same weekend.

Listen now to learn more about the fallout from those protests. 

Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of our newsroom to help you better understand South Carolina. This episode was hosted by Emily Williams and Gavin McIntyre and edited by Matt Rasnic.

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Reach Matt Rasnic at 843-735-9726. Follow her on Twitter @Matt_Rasnic.

Audience engagement producer

Matt Rasnic (he/him) is a audience engagement producer. He also helps produce our podcast, Understand SC. Previously, he worked as a reporter for NPR member station WFIU. Matt studied journalism and human-centered computing at Indiana University.