Thursday night’s Greenville City Council meeting saw emotions run high over discussions of a citizen’s police review board.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, several people spoke in favor of a board that would provide oversight and accountability for the Greenville Police Department.
According to city procedures, the maximum time for a public comment session is 30 minutes.
On Thursday, Dedan Waciuri stood up and yelled over the city chambers after the 30 minutes had expired.
Waciuri said, “The community has been abused constantly from the police and we should have every right to stand up and say what we need to say.”
After repeatedly being asked to stop by Mayor P.J. Connelly, Waciuri was escorted out by a Greenville police officer.
The setting of the meeting could not be ignored.
Dozens of officers lined the walls in support of one of their own, while those speaking out in support of a review board sat on the other side of the room.
It was a packed house that provided standing room only.
Rosanna King spoke during the public comment period and said, “We want a citizen’s police review board that is elected by the people with full investigative and subpoena power.”
Caleb Burroughs also spoke in favor of a board. Burroughs said, “Part of this problem comes from the way we are policed here.”
After Waciuri was escorted out, as retirement recognition took place.
Officer Scott Lascalette is retiring after 15 years with the Greenville Police Department.
Lascalette was recognized by City Manager Ann Wall and Police Chief Mark Holtzman.
Lascalette patrolled as part of the department’s motorcycle division.
Chief Holtzman said Lascalette has agreed to stay on as a reserve officer.
As for the requests for a citizen’s police review board, the council did not take action nor make a resolution as of Thursday night’s meeting.