Chester mayor calls for firing of three officers involved in 2019 Walmart shooting

Mayor calls for firing of three officers involved in 2019 Walmart shooting

CHESTER, S.C. (WBTV) -Chester City Council members held a meeting to discuss several items stemming from the Ariane McCree shooting. One of the motions introduced Monday night called for the firing of three officers involved in the shooting.

Chester’s mayor called for a resolution to fire three officers for not following standard operational procedures.

McCree was shot and killed by officers in the Walmart parking lot after he pointed a gun at officers.

Mayor Wanda Stringfellow says the three officers didn’t follow the standard operating procedures written by the Chester police office.

The SOPs include body camera protocols.

Stringfellow said Officers Harris and Richardson were not wearing body cameras during the shooting. She adds that Officer Baker did not put his body camera on in time to hear any audio.

Chief Eric Williams, who has defended his officers’ actions, continued to defend them on Monday.

After reading through the SOP, Stringfellow told the council she felt the officers should be let go for not following protocols.

”This isn’t a black or white issue. This isn’t an issue of a white officer shooting a black man. This is an issue of police officers not following the policy that they should be adhering to on a daily basis,” said Stringfellow.

The motion did not pass with council voting 4 to 2. Most councilmembers said they were not comfortable with making a decision without more information.

Also discussed in Monday’s meeting--getting new body cameras.

Chief Williams told the council 10 officers have old body cameras that have a two-minute delay.

Stringfellow says the usual delay is about 30 seconds.

Williams says Officer Baker’s body camera was the oldest one in the entire department.

That prompted the mayor to ask the chief if he would find the money for better body cameras. He responded by saying with the recent events, he felt it would not be difficult to find and get the money.

The council passed the first reading of a new citizens’ review board. This board will be made up of individuals from Chester and Chester County. As well, they voted to create a citizens’ police academy.

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