NAACP calls for probe into excessive force - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

NAACP calls for probe into excessive force

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Charleston Chapter of the NAACP has called for a county-wide investigation of law enforcement agencies, including the use of lethal force.

The demand comes just 24 hours after a meeting between the president of the organization and Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon revealed new details in the shooting death of Derryl Drayton by deputies.

"The NAACP, from 1909 until now, has the consistent concern about the use of force against African Americans and other minorities by police agencies in America," said Nelson B. Rivers, III, a national officer for NAACP and Lowcountry pastor.

In a press conference Wednesday, NAACP leaders publicly asked SLED and The Department of Justice to conduct a review of policy and procedures in the use of lethal force -- as it pertains to police officers and deputies within Charleston County.

During the press conference, Derryl Drayton's sister who was not involved in the domestic dispute fought back tears as NAACP leaders spoke.

Dash cam video reveal some of what happened late Saturday night. Deputies say Drayton had been shocked by a Taser and was threatening to kill himself with a knife. The video shows Drayton running from deputies seconds before he suffered seven gunshot wounds.

Just after shots were fired, deputies yell out, "Good job." Drayton was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Somebody just died and we have another human-being rallying 'Good job,'" said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston Chapter of NAACP. "Makes me think that, are these officers mindset one of which, 'Just kill them?'"

On Monday, Cannon said his deputy was stabbed by Drayton, but he later clarified, saying Drayton's knife was likely thrown toward police after a deputy asked him to drop his weapon.

NAACP leaders question whether or not the shooting was done in self-defense.

 "If the lethal weapon that they were concerned about was a knife and he threw it, the man was no longer armed at that point," said Rev. Joe Darby, vice president of the Charleston Chapter of NAACP. "If he turned to flee, and you shoot him, how do you shoot a fleeing person to protect yourself?"

Drayton had a criminal history of resisting arrest and drug charges. Still, NAACP leaders believe a criminal past is not reason for an officer to kill.

"We just demand that justice be done," said Rivers. "But, it's hard to get justice for African Americans in a community that often pre-judges you based on who they think you are. Not who you are. The family's presence humanizes brother Drayton to make you understand life was taken. The question is: was it justifiable?"

Cannon declined an opportunity to respond to Wednesday's press conference. Leaders say an official request for an investigation will be sent by the end of the week. 


  • Valencia Wicker

    Email: vwicker@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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