SC

North Charleston Councilman Accuses Cop Of Falsifying Police Report

Jerome Heyward: Officer was “aggressive and threatening” in investigating noise complaint …

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A South Carolina city councilman whose bar was cited for violating a noise ordinance two months ago has submitted a complaint against the police officer who issued the ticket, records obtained by this media outlet revealed.

Jerome Heyward – who refers to himself as the “boss” of The Montague Room – submitted a complaint to the North Charleston police department this week regarding officer James Francis Ryan. According to the complaint, Ryan “falsified” a police report and was “aggressive and threatening” during his visit to the establishment on February 24, 2024.

Heyward further alleged that the rights of patrons of the Montague Room “were violated” when Ryan ordered the disc jockey “to turn off the music despite having no codified authority to do so.”

Really?

North Charleston code § 13-126 prohibits “unreasonably loud and disturbing or unnecessary noise” being made between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Ryan arrived at the club on the evening in question at 11:38 p.m. EST – and made his request for the music to be turned off at 11:51 p.m. EST.

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Nonetheless, Heyward accused Ryan of making “libelous” claims about him – including claiming Heyward was “under the influence.”

“At all times relevant, I was not suffering an impairment of any sort but … specifically, not an alcohol-influence impairment,” Heyward wrote.

According to Heyward, Ryan’s “seeming purpose” in allegedly falsifying the incident report was “to defame my reputation.”

North Charleston police chief Greg Gomes sent the report to the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), accompanied by a letter asking the agency to investigate “due to the complaint coming from an elected city official on a city employee.”

The problem with Heyward’s complaint? Ryan’s body-worn camera footage has already been released by the city – and the footage “confirms, to the letter, details documented in the incident report prepared by Ryan in the aftermath of the encounter.

(Click to View)

(FITSTube)

Also, city police have previously exonerated Ryan in a statement accompanying the release of the footage.

“Our officer was found to have followed all department policies and procedures,” the statement noted.

Of interest? In his complaint, Heyward also disputed using a racial slur against Ryan – one that he was clearly caught using on camera.

At the 12:40 mark of the video, Heyward attempted to summon Ryan from a conversation he was having with a patron by using a derogatory term.

“Hey boy,” he called out. “Hey boy.”

“Did he call me ‘boy?’” Ryan asked.

“Witnesses can corroborate that I was not referring to sergeant Ryan as a ‘boy,'” Heyward claimed in his complaint.

Heyward, 60, was first elected to North Charleston city council in 2019. He won a second, four-year term last fall – capturing 61 percent of the vote. Heyward is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, we reported on a scandal in North Charleston related to the awarding of community gun violence prevention grants. According to our sources, Heyward has “exposure” to that scandal, although they declined to elaborate on specifics.

Keep it tuned to our media outlet for updates on all fronts …

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THE COMPLAINT …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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4 comments

River Top fan April 10, 2024 at 9:48 pm

Councilman, you are an elected official. Stop showing your behind and set the example you want others to follow. The exalted will be humbled says the Lord.

Reply
Happy Jack Top fan April 11, 2024 at 6:49 am

Things were som much better when the Evans family ran North Chuck!

Reply
Buford T. Justice Top fan April 11, 2024 at 9:15 am

What we have here is a total lack of respect for the law!

Reply
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The Colonel Top fan April 11, 2024 at 10:16 am

That’s an awful lot of bass for the 7-8 patrons left. Seems like the councilman would know the rules…

Reply

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