Chris Griffin: SC chief cop allegedly sent women sexually explicit, racist cartoons
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA: Two women have filed a lawsuit against a South Carolina police chief for allegedly sending them “sexually explicit, racist, and inappropriate” text messages while attending a law enforcement leadership conference. The lawsuit says that Sullivan’s Island Police Chief Chris Griffin approached Emily Lide Ward and Latane Gooding while they were working at the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association’s annual leadership conference in Myrtle Beach.
The women have accused Griffin of bombarding them with nearly 20 uncalled for and inappropriate images, including cartoon drawings of naked women and depictions of sexual acts, in November 2019. Griffin allegedly wrote after the last photo, “Like any of those lol". The pictures, as per the suit, were “sexually explicit, racist, demeaning, and inappropriate”.
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The lawsuit says that Ward and Gooding reported the texts to higher-ups, but “no remedial or disciplinary action against Defendant Griffin whatsoever" was taken. The women also said that the town of Sullivan’s Island opened an investigation only after a complaint was officially filed. Gooding and Ward are now suing the town for negligence, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The women claimed that the town's inaction towards Griffin's behavior caused them “humiliation, loss of sleep, anxiety, nervousness, physical sickness, physical and mental suffering, pain, and anguish”. The lawsuit accuses the Town of Sullivan’s Island of failing “to remediate or reasonably address Defendant Griffin’s misconduct in any way.”
The women are being represented in the suit by attorney Clay Hopkins, of the Hopkins Law Firm in Charleston. He told Charleston TV station WCSC that his clients believe that Griffin should not be allowed to continue as the police chief for Sullivan’s Island, or at any other municipality for that matter. “The conduct described above is so outrageous that it should not be tolerated in a civilized society,” the complaint says in part. “Defendant Griffin’s conduct was intentionally outrageous and intended to cause and did cause Plaintiffs great emotional distress.”
Who is Chris Griffin?
According to Chris Griffin's biography on the town's website, his career in law enforcement began in 1995 with the North Charleston Police Department. He has been police chief of the barrier island since January 2018. In 1997, Griffin joined the Sullivan’s Island Police Department as a patrol officer. He then continued to work his way up through the ranks.
“Law enforcement is his passion,” Griffin’s biography reads, “and he especially enjoys helping people, becoming part of the community, and developing the department for the future.”