Perspective: City officials at crime scenes - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Perspective: City officials at crime scenes

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A lot of controversy has swirled around the South Carolina NAACP president's arrest at a Tripp's dry cleaners recently and the Columbia City Manager's appearance on that scene. 

Dr. Randolph claims his disruptive actions were caused by his diabetic condition, and Teresa Wilson claims she responded to the incident out of personal concern and understanding of Dr. Randolph's condition.

Be that as it may, the scenario presents a bigger issue that hints at impropriety.

Should the city manager be responding to an arrest even if the subject of that arrest is a friend or colleague?  

I think not. 

This is not, as Ms. Wilson states, a case where her mere presence suggests undue influence. She did not just happen on the scene. She was notified of the altercation and went straight to the scene. 

That is simply not appropriate and whether it was her intent or not, gives the impression that she may have planned to intervene in a police action. Fortunately, the arrest had already been made and Dr. Randolph had been taken to the hospital by the time Ms. Wilson arrived on the scene.

City officials should steer clear of visiting crimes scenes.

At the very least, it smacks of political influence, and at best it appears as favoritism. And the city manager, who has supervision over the police department, should most certainly not appear on the scene of an arrest of any public figure. 

That's my perspective. What's yours?

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