DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Darlington City Councilwoman Sheila Baccus is accused of using racially charged language when speaking to an on-duty police officer during an incident in June.
According to a Darlington Police Department report obtained by News13, an officer was handling parking enforcement duties on June 17. The officer reported a vehicle was parked on the wrong side of the road along Oak Street. He then placed a parking ticket on the windshield of the vehicle.
Moments later, the report says Councilwoman Baccus asked the officer what was going on. The officer explained that he had issued a ticket and that he had previously given a verbal warning for this same violation, according to the report. The officer says another woman then appeared. The officer recognized the second woman as the person previously warned about the parking issue.
At this time, according to the report, Baccus said to the officer, “Why are you harassing us? You don’t have anything better to do than write parking tickets?“
The officer told Baccus that this was his job and to contact Darlington Police Chief Kelvin Washington if she had a problem with it.
Baccus then reportedly made a phone call, ended the call and then said, “The chief said he will take care of this ticket“.
Then, the report claims Baccus said this to the officer:
The officer said he did not respond to Baccus’ comment and instead returned to his patrol car.
On Friday night, Chief Washington provided this statement to News13:
“On June 17, 2020, an unattended white SUV was improperly parked on Oak Street. An officer approached the vehicle and placed a parking ticket on the vehicle for being improperly parked. It was later discovered that the vehicle was being operated by Councilwoman Sheila Baccus. The officer handled this interaction with Councilwoman Baccus 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. Any questions about Councilwoman Baccus’ actions or comments that day would be best answered by her. The parking ticket was paid two days after the incident.”Chief Kelvin Washington, Darlington Police
On Friday night, Darlington Mayor Curtis Boyd also referred all questions about the incident to Baccus.
News13 reached out to Baccus for a comment via email on Thursday night. We reached out again via email on Friday morning. We reached out twice via phone on Friday afternoon. As of July 16, we have still not received any response from Baccus.
Count on News13 for updates.