News Release

November 14, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Liza Cordeiro, Sr. Marketing Advisor, 202-650-4456


Arlington, Va.  The city of Charleston, South Carolina, today released the Racial Bias Audit of the Charleston, South Carolina, Police Department. In January 2019, Charleston selected CNA to conduct a racial bias audit of the Charleston Police Department (CPD).

"It has been a pleasure working with city, community and police department leaders," said Denise Rodriguez, project director and senior research scientist at CNA. "The audit team is reassured both by CPD's commitment to change and willingness to implement the recommendations, and by the community's support of the CPD. Although CPD has begun addressing a number of these findings, continued effort and engagement by both officers and the community will be critical to ensuring the successful implementation and sustainability of these improvements."


Charleston asked CNA to address bias at multiple levels:

  • Assess, monitor, and assist the CPD, in concert with the community, in uncovering any aspects of implicit bias or systemic and individual racial bias.
  • Assess the effects of enforcement operations on populations that have been historically marginalized and discriminated against, particularly the African-American community.
  • Provide recommendations for reforms that improve community-oriented policing practices, transparency, professionalism, accountability, community inclusion, fairness, effectiveness, and public trust, taking into account national best practices and community expectations.
  • Engage the community to understand both the experiences and the expectations of interactions with CPD.

"The CPD is committed to being an active community partner in conversations and efforts to address the city's past and present challenges surrounding race," said CPD Chief Luther Reynolds. "Efforts to strengthen police-community relationships are at the forefront of the city’s priorities, and we look forward to using the racial bias audit as a roadmap as we navigate a stronger and safer future for our community."

The CNA audit team looked at data on traffic stops, including field contacts, use of force, the internal and external complaint process, community-oriented policing practices and recruitment, hiring, promotion and personnel practices. CNA noted 48 findings and developed recommendations for each. Racial disparity in traffic stops, poor data-collection practices, lack of clarity in policies on use of force and professional standards, gaps in efforts to engage various segments of the community substantively, and lack of accountability mechanisms are a few examples of the findings noted in this report.

CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to the safety and security of the nation. The Racial Bias Audit of the Charleston, South Carolina, Police Department and a complete list of findings and recommendations can be found at For questions or media inquiries, contact Liza Cordeiro at or 202-650-4456.

CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance. With nearly 700 scientists, analysts and professional staff, CNA takes a real-world approach to gathering data. Its one-of-a-kind field program places analysts on carriers and military bases, in squad rooms and classrooms, and working side-by-side with a wide array of government decision-makers around the world. In addition to defense-related matters for the U.S. Department of the Navy, CNA’s research portfolio includes criminal justice, homeland security, energy security, water resources, enterprise systems and data analysis, and education.

Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a research organization in Arlington, VA."


Elizabeth Cutler
Sr Communications Specialist

John Stimpson
Communications Associate
3003 Washington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201