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Columbia police chief disputes Benjamin's claim

Apr 1, 2010 11:49:00 PM - thestate.com
Columbia mayoral candidate Steve Benjamin said in a public forum last week investigators did not respond to a reported rape in the northeastern part of the city because they are not allowed overtime.

But Columbia Police Chief Tandy Carter said he reviewed this week every reported rape in the North Region for the past two months and said the incident did not happen.

"We had a detective respond to every rape that we knew of," Carter said. He said Benjamin did not contact him to verify the rape incident.

Benjamin, who has criticized the city for eliminating overtime for police officers, said he learned of the incident from two police officers who have "direct knowledge of it."

"I've spoken to the officer again who shared this story with me, and I believe it to be true," Benjamin said. "I don't feel comfortable the city has an environment where employees are listened to. They have a fear of retaliation. I have committed myself to conducting an open government where employees are listened to and not dictated to."

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)