HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - Protesters are calling for a new charge against Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt.
Members of the National Action Network held a demonstration at the Hanahan Police Department at City Hall Tuesday afternoon about charges they say should have been filed in DeWitt's Dec. 28 arrest.
About a dozen protesters showed up, holding signs and shouting to passing cars.
"I was horrified when I first heard the news and outraged further when it was on all video," said Sue Willis, a protester."The fact that in addition to the hit-and-run accident, Sheriff DeWitt decided to go on."
DeWitt was charged with drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident involving another vehicle.
Elder James Johnson, president of NAN's Tri-County Chapter, says the demonstration protested the fact that no charges were filed against DeWitt for failure to stop for blue lights or reckless driving.
"Failure to stop for blue lights is a felony offense," Johnson said. "Why was that charge not filed? If it's a felony offense, we want that charge brought."
Johnson said while the group also is calling for DeWitt to resign, it also wants him treated the same way everyone else would be treated.
"If it were me, I would have been charged with failure to stop for blue lights and reckless driving. They would throw the book at me," Johnson said.
In a statement, Hanahan Police Chief Mike Cochran said the case is being handled through his office and the solicitor's office, and that he is not therefore able to discuss the timeline and sequence of events, yet.
"This is an awesome country and we have many hard-fought rights and liberties that others can and do die for," Cochran said. "The right to protest is one of them. For the people who want to express their concerns, that is their right and I applaud their interest in seeing that this case is given proper attention. I look forward to discussing this once the legal process has concluded."
The Highway Patrol responded to an accident scene at 5:46 a.m. on Dec. 28 in which a car had been struck by a truck, the incident report states. The trooper said the car had suffered "severe rear end damage." The victim told authorities he was slowing down when the truck struck his car, then left the scene.
Hanahan police pulled the truck over a short time later
Authorities released dash camera video of the arrest and say DeWitt nearly lost control of his truck several times and sped away from the scene of the accident at speeds in excess of 100 mph. An officer also reported the driver of the truck sped through a red light at Tanner Road and never acknowledged his blue lights and siren, the incident report states.
DeWitt released a statement on Jan. 5 in which he said he was "deeply sorry for the embarrassment" the incident caused the citizens of Berkeley County and the employees of the sheriff's office.
DeWitt has served as sheriff for 20 years and was sworn in for a new term as sheriff on Jan. 4.