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Civil rights group “NAN” demands state governor remove Colleton sheriff from office

NAN SC Coordinator Elder James Johnson, NAN President Colleton Chapter Anderson Grant, Jr, NAN VP State Chapter Vincent Mack, and Tyeesha Aiken met with the media Monday in front of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office to voice demands to remove Sheriff Strickland from office.

The National Action Network held a press conference on Monday afternoon on the grounds of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, with the area and state NAN leaders asking that S.C. Governor removes current Colleton County Sheriff R. Andy Strickland from office.
The National Action Network is a civil-rights based organization. According to Elder James Johnson, the state coordinator for NAN, his office has fielded three complaints from white men in Colleton County who are claiming that Strickland physically assaulted them. These complaints have occurred during Strickland’s current elected term, he said.
“We represent the civil rights of all people and all races, not just black citizens,” he said. “We have taken these complaints from these caucasian men, one of whom had to go back to New York to live from fear of Strickland. Now, he has physically assaulted a woman,” said Johnson, following Monday’s NAN press conference. “This is a serious crime – a man’s abuse against a woman. Something needs to be done. We are a small state, and we are sixth in the nation for abuse and death against women.
“He is a corrupt sheriff,” he said. “He is assaulting men, he has beaten a woman, and he was being investigated for misuse of funds. Nobody will respect him, and people will be afraid of him if he is driving around in a cop cruiser representing the law in Colleton County.”
In addition to asking that he be removed from office, NAN leaders are asking that the county’s coroner, Richard Harvey, be placed in that position in an interim base. NAN leaders are also asking state leaders to allow a special election that would fill the remaining term of the Colleton County Sheriff.
The sheriff’s current 4-year term is in place through the next election cycle: the next sheriff’s race is slated for November 2020.
NAN’s press conference on Monday stemmed from Strickland’s Nov. 9th arrest. He has been charged by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) with Criminal Domestic Violence, second-degree. (See related story in this issue).
Since his arrest, he has been released from the Colleton County Jail on a PR bond.
On Monday, Strickland released a statement saying he will be taking an immediate leave of absence from his role as sheriff. Strickland also said in that statement that he wants current Chief Deputy Buddy Hill to be placed in the sheriff’s role. It is unclear when or if Strickland will return to his role as sheriff.
However, NAN leaders say a special election is needed to put a new law enforcement officer in the county’s sheriff’s seat.
As of press deadline on Tuesday morning, NAN leaders were awaiting a response from S.C. Governor Henry McMaster about what will be done regarding Strickland’s current elected term.
In a letter sent to McMaster by the National Action Network on November 11th, the agency is formally requesting that McMaster remove Strickland. They also state that Strickland is the 14th sheriff in South Carolina accused of “breaking the laws he swore to uphold.”

Heather Walters (1602 Posts)