CPD: Officer suspended after repeating racial slur

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)–Columbia Police Department officials say a Veteran officer has been suspended without pay.

According to officials, around 11:00 p.m. Saturday, August 29, a Sergeant assigned to patrol Five Points entered the business Bar None and found several violations of the Governor’s Executive Order to stop the service and consumption of alcohol.

Police say while Sergeant Chad Walker, a 14-year veteran, communicated the order to bar patrons and employees, a male is heard calling him a racial slur while leaving the business.

Police say as Walker and patrons were outside, there was a heated exchange between them, including Walker’s repeated use of the racial slur. The incident was captured on Walker’s body-worn camera and citizens’ cell phone video, say Police.

In order to be transparent, Chief “Skip” Holbrook says he will be releasing the body-worn camera video in its entirety.

Holbrook says Walker has been suspended without pay from the Columbia Police Department pending the outcome of a disciplinary command review board process, which is standard.

In a release,  Chief Holbrook says, “After reviewing the video from last night in Five Points, it is evident the actions of Sgt. Walker were a clear failure to fulfill the expectations and standards of our Department. The repetition of the racial slur and failure to deescalate the situation were inexcusable.  Our officers are trained to serve as leaders and to deescalate confrontations of potentially volatile situations. Although I am embarrassed and disappointed in the Sergeant’s actions, I was encouraged to see a junior officer intervene and remove Walker from the situation, potentially stopping further escalation.

Chief Holbrook said he would like to thank citizens, community leaders, especially Building Better Communities, for sharing their concerns about the incident.


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