Wednesday, October 30 2013 11:57 AM EDT2013-10-30 15:57:05 GMT
Two senior Columbia police officers assigned to represent the department in the South Carolina Pride Parade objected saying it violated their religious beliefs and sent their concerns to the city manager'sMore >>
Two senior Columbia police officers assigned to represent the department in the South Carolina Pride Parade objected saying it violated their religious beliefs and sent their concerns to the city manager's office, city officials said.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
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Take a real-time look at where it's raining here in the Midlands and across the state with WIS First Alert radar.More >>
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
The city's involvement regarding the decision to change orders given by the police department to march in Saturday's SC Pride Parade was not an ideal precedent to set, Columbia Interim Chief Ruben Santiago said Friday.
Santiago says his officers needed to be at the South Carolina Pride Parade. Marching, he says, was about sending a message.
"People see firsthand, 'hey the department is about equality, they are about acceptance,'" Santiago said. "We want to make sure we instill that so that if they do require our services, they won't hesitate one bit to count on us."
While some officers were assigned with crowd and traffic control, others, from the department's community services division, were ordered to march.
Two of them objected saying it conflicted with their religious beliefs.
"An officer cannot choose their assignments based on their religious beliefs," Santiago said. "Mind you, we want to make accommodations where we can, but in this case, we went through the process of trying to get volunteers, and ultimately it came down to meeting the needs of that event and that's why the directive was given."
But the objections continued and one of those officers started copying emails to City Manager Teresa Wilson's office, going over Santiago's head.
On the morning of the event, Wilson had a discussion with Santiago, and what was a mandatory march was suddenly voluntary.
"I would respect their wishes and their position, but I'm also going to say this is something you have to do," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department also had deputies marching that day.
Lott said he agreed with Santiago that an officer's oath precludes them from ignoring lawful orders, and that the city's involvement, doesn't help.
"A chief or sheriff has to be able to make the decisions, a person that works underneath him are not going to respect them if they don't have the ability to make decisions, and I think that's a problem with the Columbia Police Department, not just now but for many many years," Lott said.
Santiago said the situation is not an ideal precedent to set.
"When you have a police department that really values strict discipline and adherence and obedience to directives, the Chief of Police is the person they look toward for that direction," Santiago said.
"Any department that expects to instill public trust, must demonstrate that by being visible to the public," said Santiago.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:35:14 GMT
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.Prices are about $3.11 in the area on Labor Day, which, when compared toMore >>
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>