North Charleston Police Chief: Police did not racially profile Joshua Lewis

VIDEO: Chief says man was not racially profiled

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston’s police chief is not saying if some officers accused of using excessive force will be disciplined.

Local civil rights leaders called for an independent racial bias audit of the police department after seeing this video.

The man in the video, Joshua Lewis was not arrested.

Police Chief Reggie Burgess issued a videotaped statement on Wednesday afternoon.

In the 21-minute recorded statement, the chief did not say if any of the officers will be disciplined for their actions.

"Never did any of our officers profile or target Mr. Lewis,” the police chief said.

On Wednesday afternoon the police department released dashcam video from three encounters with Joshua Lewis over a two day period.

Dashcam video showed officers’ first encounter on May 7 with Joshua Lewis.

Police say they pulled Lewis and his passenger over for a broken tag light.

Officers said they smelled marijuana in the car and that Lewis refused to come out of the car. So they pulled him out of it.

His passenger is seen in the back seat of the cruiser cursing that they were stopped for the broken light.

Cops gave Lewis a ticket and let him go.

Two nights later officers had a second encounter with Lewis.

Police were responding to a shots heard call when they say Lewis and some friends ran into a room at a hotel.

Bystanders on cell phones took video of officers picking up a handcuffed Lewis and throwing him against a wall.

Lewis and the others were not arrested.

Officers say they then saw Lewis take an object out of his car and then leave the hotel in a friend’s car.

Cops with guns drawn ordered Lewis and the others out of the car.

Officers say they found a loaded shotgun in the car.

In the dashcam video the driver was told it’s not illegal to have the weapon.

He said it wasn’t his and he didn’t know who it belonged to.

According to an incident report, one of the passengers told officers the gun belonged to Lewis.

All of the men were released and took possession of the gun.

North Charleston Police released a video statement regarding the incident on Facebook.

NCPD Statement

Facts matter, and some things can’t be fully explained in a short news report. Here’s the full story of Joshua Lewis’s three encounters with NCPD on May 7th and May 9th.

Posted by North Charleston Police Department on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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