Group releases preliminary findings in Charleston police racial bias audit

VIDEO: Charleston Police Dept. receives preliminary findings on racial bias audit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On Wednesday, the team with CNA, the group conducting the Racial Bias Audit of the Charleston Police Department, presented their findings to the Charleston City Council.

The team has been assessing certain areas within the department for months. Those areas include traffic stops, field contacts, use of force, complaints (internal and external), community engagement, recruitment, hiring and personnel practices.

The team, so far, has interviewed 75 department personnel and 12 city and community leaders. They have also held six community meetings.

The team has been analyzing five years of data (2014-2018).

Traffic stops:

-79,077 traffic stops ended in warnings

-60,598 traffic stops ended in citations

Field Contacts: 54,206

Complaints:

-201 internal complaints, 401 allegations

-87 external complaints, 187 allegations

Use of Force: 1,355

One of the big takeaways from this data, according to the CNA team, is that there are multiple areas in which a policy/field guide needs to be developed and a strategic plan in place.

The team also found there were clear disparities when it came to traffic stops ending in warnings. Black drivers were overrepresented, but only marginally by 2% on traffic stops ending in citations. Those with the CNA team also says black drivers were twice as likely to be searched when a warning is issued.

Additionally, CNA found there was no strategy in community engagement and that needs to improve.

A final report will be delivered to the City of Charleston in early October.

In the meantime, there are several community meetings taking place to discuss the preliminary findings.

9/18 -- 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Wesley United Methodist Church 446 Meeting Street

9/19 -- 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Bible Way Baptist Church 2019 Savage Road

9/19 -- 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. St. James Presbyterian Church 1314 Secessionville Road

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