Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- State NAACP President Dr. Lonnie Randolph says the July incident at Tripp's Fine Cleaners in Five Points could have ended differently.
"It was an unfortunate event and it could very easily have stopped at the beginning, but for whatever reasons, and I'm not here to discuss those, but for whatever reasons, it went in a direction it should not have gone in," he said.
Columbia police arrested Randolph last July on charges of trespassing, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct after an incident at Tripp's. Because of a dispute between Randolph and an employee of the store, Columbia police were called to the business to resolve the situation. According to an incident report, the interaction between Randolph and the police briefly turned physical, with officers forcing him to the ground.
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Randolph has said the incident was a result of his diabetic condition, something that he has lived with for many years.
He faced 90 days in jail.
This week, however, charges were dropped after Tripp's Cleaners declined to participate in the trial. More: Case Dropped Against SC NAACP Leader
Randolph did not want to discuss the details of what he recalled from that day, but he did say that he would not apologize for having diabetes.
His attorney Joe McCulloch said he suffered damage to his mouth and teeth during the incident with the Columbia Police Department.
Randolph says he has mixed feeling about the charges being dropped.
"I wanted to go to trial. I honestly, a difficult as it would have been, I wanted it to go to trial, because I wanted, number one from an educational standpoint of view, the public to use it as a means of helping people, all the people who are afflicted by the condition. I don't call it a disease if you can control it. It can be a disease if you don't adhere to the policies and the practices and 99 percent of the time I do. And even on some days when you do everything right, you're going to have challenges," he said.
Randolph says he will meet with his attorney next week to discuss his next steps.