CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It was disappointing to read about the recent experience of Charlotte television reporter Steve Crump.
Full disclosure, Steve works for WBTV, which is owned by Raycom Media, the same company that owns Live 5.
While in Charleston covering Hurricane Matthew, Steve encountered 21-year-old Brian Eybers who was sitting on the sidewalk near Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on Broad Street. For some unknown reason, Eybers began shouting at Crump, calling him "the black guy," the slave, and finally the N-word.
I don't personally know Steve Crump, but I know his work. He's a respected journalist.
I also don't know Brian Eybers or what motivated him. Eybers told Crump the U.S. Constitution gives him the right to call him those offensive names.
That kind of warped thinking is like saying the First Amendment gives me the right to yell "fire" in a crowded auditorium. Police say Eybers last known address is in Virginia, so we can at least say he's not from Charleston. Well, it happened here. And that's sad. In fact, it's embarrassing and disgusting.
Kudos to Mayor Tecklenburg for reaching out to Steve Crump to offer a personal apology. It wasn't necessary, but very classy.
We, too, apologize to Steve Crump.
I hope he knows Brian Eybers doesn't represent Charlestonians, and I hope the incident doesn't tarnish Steve's feelings about our wonderful city.