GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – After a long week full of protests demanding change, the message is now clear that citizens want to see an end to police brutality and racial injustices not only nationwide, but also here in Greenville.
Bruce Wilson, founder of Fighting Injustice Together, met with Greenville County Council chairman Butch Kirven to talk about a list of items that could improve the racial climate in Greenville and hold Sheriff’s deputies more accountable for their actions.
“Every police department across this country has the same issues. I think what happened to Mr.Floyd is evidence that every police department needs to review their policies- especially when it comes to force,” Wilson said. “It’s not just a one-off because it didn’t happen here, it does happen here it just gets under reported.”
Some of those items discussed in the meeting included establishing a citizen review board to help review the actions of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, which according to Wilson, would need $150,000 in funding each year.
Additionally, they discussed establishing a task force to evaluate racial inequalities in the county and enacting a hate crime ordinance.
All of which, according to Wilson, Chairman Kirven fully supports. He told us Kirven plans to speak up to other officials about these items, including the Sheriff’s Office.
Wilson said he brought up the idea of a hate crime ordinance at a county council meeting last year and it was tabled, but Chairman Kirven agreed to review that idea and commit to making changes for those in the community who need it most.
“We have no choice, it has to happen. We have to have change and I think everybody is on board now. That video of Mr. Floyd’s execution proves that we need change in this country, especially when it relates to race. Racism is a disease that needs to be eradicated off the face of this earth,” Wilson said.
If a hate crime ordinance is passed in Greenville County, it would be the first to be passed in the entire state of South Carolina.
Fighting Injustices Together will also be holding a march called “Even in a Suit” on South Main St. in downtown Greenville on Saturday. For more information click here.