NAACP, residents accuse N. Charleston police of racial profiling

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The NAACP has leveled accusations of racial profiling against the North Charleston Police Department.

The organization held a forum Tuesday night and says that many African Americans have complained about excessive traffic stops in North Charleston. The police chief says it's to cut crime.

Concerned citizens, members of the NAACP and the police department talked about what some say has become an issue. North Charleston police have cut down on crime in the city, but some African Americans believe it's at the expense of racial equality.

"They come up and talk to you because they've got the badge and that's not fair," said concerned citizen Tony Lewis. "That's not fair to use your gun and your badge to get your point across in a negative way in a forceful way really. Like I said, no disrespect to chief Zumalt and his staff in there, they do a great job, but like I said, when the parents are away the kids play."

North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt attended Tuesday night's forum at the Alfred Williams Center. He says African Americans are not being targeted. He says more officers have been put in black neighborhoods because they tend to have higher crime rates and that is why police are stopping more African Americans.

When it comes to traffic stops, Zumalt says in most cases, his officers write warnings and do not issue fines.

the president of the North Charleston NAACP says they would like to hold another forum like Tuesday's in the near future.

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