Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Troopers Resign Over Racial Incident

Two of South Carolina's top law enforcement officials ( Public Safety Director Jim Schweitzer and Highway Patrol Col. Russell Roark ) have submitted their resignations amid criticism of their handling of a state trooper who used a racial epithet during a traffic stop four years ago and threatening to kill a suspect. The trooper was simply reprimanded at the time and then suspended. Their was immediate public outcry. The Governor, Mark Sanford said the trooper should of been fired.

It appears James Schweitzer, who's the highest ranking officer in the Department of Public Safety will not be renominated. Schweitzer says he's disappointed to leave the agency under what he feels is politics at its worst. He'll continue as director until the next one is appointed. Sanford decided not to nominate Schweitzer for a second term after viewing a taped traffic stop.

The tape, along with another one showing a woman handcuffed to front bumper of a patrol car,was submitted to the Governor. He was outraged that these men in both incidences were merely let go with a warning and one got a 12 hour suspension.

Already Reginald E. Gosnell, is being touted by some former troopers as the right choice to head Public Safety, according to an e-mail sent to some state senators, who must confirm Sanford’s choice.

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