The Cheraw branch of the NAACP held a town hall meeting Monday featuring a regional panel of elected officials, law enforcement leaders and attorneys available to field questions from the public.
Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram, Chesterfield County Council Chairman Matt Rivers, Cheraw Police Chief Keith Thomas, Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks, Richmond County (North Carolina) Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr., Chief Deputy Solicitor Kennard Redmond and defense attorney Rosalind Sellers of the Sellers Law Firm were among the discussion panel members.
The panel fielded questions on topics such as education, law enforcement and economic development in the greater Chesterfield County area.
State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Rep. Patricia Henegan and Marlboro County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Charles Lemon also made appearances at the meeting.
“The whole program was very informative to the public,” said Steevenson Pierre, president of the Cheraw branch of the NAACP.
Pierre said he was pleased with the turnout and has been receiving a great deal of positive feedback since the meeting. Pierre said the audience learned a great deal form the panel, such as defense attorney Rosalind Sellers informing an audience member that citizens have the right to refuse consent for police to search their homes and vehicles.
“She didn’t know that she’s got the right to tell the police ‘No, you can’t come in my house, no you can’t search my car,’” Pierre said.
Pierre said he would like to hold more town hall meetings in the future including a debate-style forum featuring candidates for the upcoming mayoral race in November.
Pierre also said the local chapter of the NAACP will also hold membership drives, as well as register citizens to vote before the upcoming election.
“Unfortunately, we’ve got a lot of people in Cheraw that are not registered,” he said.
Reach reporter Randy Garner at 843-537-5261 and follow him on Twitter @CherawChronicle.