Former mayor Joseph P. Riley bids his supporters goodbye on his last day in office
As a reporter, you see a lot of things, and if you're lucky you manage to snap a few pictures in the midst of everything surrounding you. More often than not, they're just good enough to give readers a sense of what's going on in the story. But sometimes you capture a moment that says more than can fit on a page.
Collected from a year's worth of news coverage, here are one reporter's favorite pictures from 2016.
Muhiyidin d’Baha, an organizer with Black Lives Matter, was one of the activists speaking out against the release of Michael Slager in January
The year began with the news that former North Charleston officer Michael Slager would be released on $500,000 surety bond as he awaited trial for the death of Walter Scott. A coalition of activist groups, including the Charleston chapter of the NAACP, Black Lives Matter Charleston, the National Action Network, and Lowcountry Peace, called for Slager to be returned to jail. Following a mistrial in December, Slager will likely stand trial on federal charges in the spring of 2017.
After 40 years as the mayor of Charleston, Joseph P. Riley stepped out of his office one final time to find a crowd of city employees gathered to wish him farewell. A generally reserved leader, Riley couldn't hide the mix of emotions he felt as he said goodbye.
And as Riley stepped out, new Mayor John Tecklenburg stepped in. Tecklenburg was the first to admit during those early days that he had big shoes to fill as the mayor of Charleston. But Tecklenburg didn't let his new role get in the way of stepping behind the piano on the eve of his inauguration.
Charlton Singleton led a second-line parade made up of members of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra and Lowcountry Voices to the steps of City Hall during Tecklenburg's inauguration ceremony.
Perhaps no one was more excited to see Tecklenburg take up the mantle of mayor than the man he was replacing. Riley looked on from the crowd and Tecklenburg took his oath and announced his plans for the future of Charleston.
Bryan of the Media Research Center met me outside of the sixth Republican presidential debate in January. As I wrote at the time, "Bryan is a friendly guy from Greenwood, S.C. I ask him to tell me more about his organization and what he hopes to accomplish. This is his opportunity to really get his message out there, I say, but Bryan opts to not to divulge much more than his first name and hometown. Bryan says he is not the mouthpiece of his group and does not want to get in trouble."
Here's hoping that Bryan is doing well and did not get into any hot water for chatting with a member of the media.
Protesters gathered outside the Democratic debate at the Gaillard Center to demand a $15-per-hour minimum wage and union rights. Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders briefly addressed the crowd before the debate, saying, “We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. People should not have to work for starvation wages. So we are making progress. There are cities and states moving in the direction of $15 an hour. That is my goal. If elected president, that is what I will fight for. Keep up the good work.”
On April 4, exactly one year after the death of Walter Scott, a small group gathered in the empty lot where he was killed. They left flowers and cards at the makeshift memorial in North Charleston.
In May, students, parents, and faculty members packed a meeting of the Berkeley County School Board. Berkeley County schools had recently began allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and participate in activities related to the gender with which they identify following a Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that such activities are protected under Title IX, a federal law which prohibits gender discrimination in schools receiving funding from the government.
As Charleston was looking back on one year after the shootings at Emanuel AME Church, another community was devastated by a mass shooting. On June 12, Omar Mateen opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., leaving 49 dead. As was the case all across the nation, Charleston residents gathered to show their support for yet another community severely affected by hate crimes.
On the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Mother Emanuel, hundreds joined together at TD Arena to remember the lives lost.
For hours, local and state leaders and church officials recounted the lives of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, and Myra Thompson.
In August, we profiled Quintin Washington
. Perhaps the hardest-working video journalist in Charleston, it was just a matter of time before Washington landed on the cover of the City Paper
. There's a good chance that if you've spent enough time in Charleston, you've seen Washington posed in front of a tripod on a street corner, working on the latest edition of "Quintin's Close-Ups."
Reporting on a hurricane involves a great deal of standing in the rain, ignoring safety advisories and curfews, and other things your mother told you not to do. But as Hurricane Matthew neared Charleston, camera crews were given a tour of the Charleston County Consolidated 911 Dispatch Center. The call center remained calm on the eve of Matthew making landfall in South Carolina, but dispatchers would receive more than 330 calls in just one hour the following morning.
And, as always, Charleston flooded. Thanks a lot, Matthew.
Protesters gathered in Marion Square following the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. A lot of people had a lot of feelings regarding the election results, but the expression on this guy's face best summed up the feelings of many after the votes were counted.
And then there are a few leftovers. These are the pictures that likely couldn't find their way into an actual article, but are deserving of some recognition. Here's a brief slideshow to highlight the more random moments of 2016.