Feds to look at North Charleston police agency

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (AP) — The Latest on the Justice Departments plans to review operations of the North Charleston Police Department. (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

An attorney for the family of an unarmed black motorist who was shot and killed by a white North Charleston officer says word that the Justice Department will review the city police department is great news.

Justin Bamberg, who is also a South Carolina state representative, says it’s a big step in ensuring real change takes place. Bamberg is an attorney for the family of Walter Scott.

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services will conduct a cooperative review of the department.

It’s expected to take two years but Police Chief Eddie Driggers says officials won’t wait to implement any recommendations for change that are made earlier in the process.


11:25 a.m.

The Justice Department has announced a two-year study of the North Charleston police department after last year’s shooting of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott by a white city police officer.

Chief Noble Wray of the department’s Community Oriented Policing Services said the review was requested by the community and city officials and will cost up to $600,000.

Wray said there’ll be recommendations in about six months on suggested improvements in the department.

There will be another report six months later on how the department is implementing those suggestions. A final report would come a year later.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says the government has responded to a call from the community.North Charleston officer Michael Slager was fired shortly after the April 2015 shooting and is awaiting trial on a murder charge.


2:40 a.m.

Federal officials are giving details of an official review of the police department in North Charleston, where a former officer faces state and federal charges in the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott.

The Justice Department is holding a news conference Tuesday to announce its comprehensive review, which was requested by Mayor Keith Summey.

The review comes amid state and federal cases against Michael Slager, the former officer captured on cellphone video firing eight times as Scott ran from a traffic stop in April 2015. Slager was fired, and his case inflamed a national debate about how white officers treat blacks.

Slager’s trial on state murder charges is scheduled to begin in October. He pleaded not guilty last week to federal civil rights charges.

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