While we rightly challenge police officers who use excessive force and make bad decisions, we too often overlook those who go about their work dutifully, upholding a laudable standard. Even as we seek to weed out the bad officers, let’s encourage and uplift the good ones.
South Carolina has proven to be emotionally intelligent in avoiding violence and rioting in response to the death and shooting of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers. Who would have thought that the Palmetto State would be the example on how to respond to such controversial issues, given our past and present challenges with race?
While Columbia may well need to search for ways to limit the burden on taxpayers while still boosting the general fund, you’ve got to think that at some point in the next few years that task will get a little bit easier. New property taxes generated by what is predicted to be gang-buster growth in the city has to begin rolling in at some point. When it does, there should be less of a need to conjure up ways to bolster the general fund.
How many black men have been brutalized or killed at the hands of white officers over the years, only to have the reprehensible acts go unreported, unchallenged and uninvestigated? We’ll never know. But a 30-year law enforcement officer who has spent his entire career in South Carolina expressed little surprise about what a video revealed in the shooting death of Walter Scott in North Charleston or other high-profile cases involving the deaths of other black men at the hands of white officers around the country. “Do you know how long this has been going on?” he asked.
Has Richland County Council already crippled the watchdog group meant to serve as a check on the way the council spends hundreds of millions to improve roads and other transportation projects? While I hope that’s not the case, that could be the result of a recent ultimatum council members made to the Transportation Penny Advisory Committee recently.
I’d argue that Walter Scott shouldn’t have even been shot at, let alone shot. North Charleston police Officer Michael Slager had his driver’s license and Mr. Scott had fled, leaving his car — and a passenger — behind. Officer Slager knew who Mr. Scott was; officers could have picked him up another time.
Those Midlands citizens who have passed away in recent months each contributed to the fabric of our community in their own way, whether in their own household, through their church or neighborhood organization or some other level of service. And they will be missed.
When Richland County leaders urged voters to approve a transportation sales tax in 2012, one selling point was that they would keep as much money as possible in the local economy. Considering the hundreds of millions the county is prepared to spend on improving roads, sidewalks, bike paths and other projects, you’d think that new small businesses would spring up and existing ones would grow. But if the way the first major construction contract that was bid turned out is any indication, small businesses might not get nearly as much work as some have anticipated.
I love the Easter story. It’s a story that many a fiery preacher lean on to drive the end of their sermons and call men and women to repentance. It’s a story that stirs the heart and offers everlasting hope in the most troubled of times. It’s a story that, despite the skeptics and critics, has not withered or faltered or failed over 2,000 years.
I’m sure S.C. State University’s 10 board members are good people who are successful in their fields and who want nothing but the best for the college. And, taken individually, there’s nothing wrong with any one of them being a member of the university’s board. But collectively they lack expertise and heft in certain areas — from financial understanding to fundraising — that are critical to the survival of institutions of higher education.