February 20, 2020 -- Charleston County Sheriff's Office made an arrest from a January hit-and-run case that injured school crossing guard Hattie Brown. Shareatha M. Price, age 26, surrendered to police after a weeks-long investigation that sought to uncover the suspect of the vehicle used to hit the officer at Charleston Charter School for Math and Science that fateful day.
Price had a bond hearing the next day and was seen by Judge Kenney where her sisters pleaded with him to set a low bond, calling the incident a "lesson learned". He fulfilled this request by granting the suspect personal recognizance bond on charges of hit and run with minor personal injury and disregarding a school crossing guard directing traffic, despite a criminal record dating back eight years. The embattled magistrate went as far to say that Ms. Price had a clean record and posed no threat to the community.
The crime was recorded on school cameras and appears to show the suspect vehicle inching closer until eventually making contact with the crossing guard, where the suspect nudged her forward for around twenty seconds until speeding away. CCSO's Crime Stoppers Unit shared the video with local news stations and pleaded with the public to increase awareness and bring the case to a close.
Hattie Brown was in bond court with the suspect, Shareatha Price, visibly emotional and ready to make peace with the single mother “I forgave her, I forgave her. Yes, forgiveness and I had to pray on it. It wasn’t easy," said Brown. But with a judge handing down his decision at a 'mile a minute', it has made the prospect of justice even thinner.
Price has made it to the Al Cannon Detention Center on more than one occasion, beginning in 2012 with a forgery arrest she later pleaded guilty to. Things picked up steam later that year with a prostitution arrest in North Charleston, and capped off by a misdemeanor shoplifting charge earned in 2016. This evidence clearly contradicts the earlier claim that Price didn't have a criminal record, and indicates how little digging magistrates do.
Kenney is Proving Unfit for The Position He Holds
If the body of work this judge has produced isn't enough to convince you, maybe this case can: He is clearly unfit for the position he holds, and has little to show for any large-scale progress on critical issues. Take, for example, the rising tide of crime in Charleston and surrounding areas. Who does it benefit when criminals like Price offend without reprieve? It simply makes life easier for the judge in question, but makes our communities and neighborhoods less safe by walking a tightrope.
And Judge Kenney has invested stock in decision making detrimental to victim's advocacy and safety in general -- take a recent list we compiled to drive the point forward. We have written consistently about the ineptitude of his office and the degeneracy of those he sets free -- domestic violence, drug and sex offenders -- as he molds himself into another incarnation of the infamous Judge Baldwin.
His mentality is even weaker. What kind of person routinely disregards legal norms in favor of a softer and more delicate path that involves the coddling of hardened criminals who would otherwise harm the people unfortunate enough to come in contact with them? This judge, apparently -- a man in a position he is totally and unequivocally unqualified for and only got it because of government connections linked to a Secret Service stint.
We Hold the Cards to Dismantle Bail Reform in Charleston
And we aren't afraid to shuffle them. This case of hit-and-run is not the lone outlier in the saga of unaccountable jail releases and poor jurisprudence; it is a metaphor of a much larger and pervading "soft on crime" approach that has swallowed Charleston whole. Like us, you probably desire to see some kind of solution to this problem. What better way to solve it than by holding seasoned criminals to a higher standard and washing away the stench of reform efforts that incapacitate law enforcement?
Hattie Brown, the crossing guard who has been victimized by Price, may never be able to work again. She will find daily tasks that were once simple much more difficult as the road to recovery carries on. Is this how we reward negligence -- with more negligence? Kenney would be better equipped to oversee this case if he saw Brown's condition for himself. But within the confines of his position, he may never witness the impact of his decisions. It is nothing less than a tragedy.
We can't get caught in the trap of tunnel vision when reading stories like this one. That's why filling out the information below and pressing "submit" is an important first step in doing away with Charleston Bail Reform and sweeping dangerous criminals off of our streets. You can spread awareness of this community-wide effort by sharing each newsletter we write with friends & family while keeping the community safe at large. Remember to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and our newly-launched Instagram platform! And don't hesitate to submit a tip through our inbox.