Darlington police chief says officer handled interaction with council member ‘with the highest level of professionalism’

Darlington police chief says officer handled interaction with council member ‘with the highest level of professionalism’
City of Darlington Seal (Source: City of Darlington)

DARLINGTON, S.C. (WMBF) – Darlington’s chief of police said one of his officers has his “complete support” after an incident last month where a city councilwoman was accused of using racially-charged language during a traffic stop.

According to a police report obtained by WMBF News, councilwoman Sheila Baccus was involved in the incident on June 17 in the area of Oak Street. Police chief Kelvin Washington said it stemmed from an SUV being improperly parked on Oak Street, which led to the officer placing a ticket on the vehicle.

That vehicle, according to Washington, was being operated by Baccus.

According to the report, Baccus asked the officer, “Why are you harassing us? You don’t have anything better to do than write parking tickets?”

The officer then told the councilwoman to take any problems up with the chief of police. Baccus later called the chief, reportedly saying the ticket would be taken care of. All the while the officer insisted he wasn’t harassing anyone.

“Take your white self back to the white neighborhood,” replied Baccus, according to the report. “You’re probably the kind that would shoot us in the back.”

Washington said his officer handled the interaction, “with the highest level of professionalism and he has my complete support. He did nothing wrong and said nothing wrong. He was simply just doing his job.”

An attempt to leave a message for Baccus seeking comment was unsuccessful.

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