City prosecutors need more time to review case against Dr. Lonnie Randolph
By Rob Starkey
Fri, 26 Jul 2013 16:31:39 GMT — COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- City prosecutors told a judge they need more time to deciding if they will prosecute the president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP. Dr. Lonnie Randolph was in court Friday Morning and prosecutors said they need more time evaluate evidence in the case. Randolph is facing trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges after a confrontation at a Columbia dry cleaners earlier this month. His attorney Joe McCulloch says Randolph suffers from diabetes and was having a diabetic episode, which causes confusion and disorientation. McCulloch pushed for the case to move forward, however the judge can't move the case along with the prosecutions objection. "When the city makes the decision, the right decision, which is to dismiss this, which I hope is forthcoming and soon they will feel a lot better and Dr. Randolph will feel a lot better having this matter ended, having this matter removed from the cynicism and public speculation," said McCulloch. McCulloch presented affidavits from Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and state lawmaker Kirkman Finlay, who are familiar with Randolph's medical issue and asked for charges against Randolph to be dropped. Police say earlier this month an employee at a Tripp's Cleaners called saying Randolph would not pay his bill, and then refused to leave. Officers escorted the 63-year-old Randolph out of the business. Police say he struggled when they tried to handcuff him, and officers struck Randolph in the chest to get him into a police car. According to a police report City Manger Teresa Wilson came to the scene and Randolph was taken to a hospital but refused treatment. Interim Police Chief Reuben Santiago told officers to ticket Randolph and release him. On Wednesday Mayor Steve Benjamin releasing a statement saying the charges against Dr. Lonnie Randolph should stand and the outcome should be decided by a court. Benjamin also addressed the questions about the City Managers or any other city or elected officials presence during a police action. "Dr. Randolph's arrest demonstrated why we should not have administrators or elected officials showing up at crime scenes unless specifically requested by law enforcement. However well intentioned, it can send the wrong message and can create an appearance of impropriety and it needs to stop now, which has raised questions about the motivation of any dropped charges."
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