ACLU, NAACP urge DOJ to investigate Walter Scott’s shooting death

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Police Officer Fatal Shooting_94257

In this April 4, 2015, frame from video provided by Attorney L. Chris Stewart representing the family of Walter Lamer Scott, Scott appears to be running away from City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, right, in North Charleston, S.C. Slager was charged with murder Tuesday, hours after law enforcement officials viewed the dramatic video that appears […]

The ACLU of South Carolina is joining the NAACP asking the Department of Justice to investigate the North Charleston Police Department after the shooting death of Walter Scott.

They released this statement on Monday, July 13:PRESS RELEASE: ACLU of South Carolina joins NAACP LDF and other local organizations in asking Department of justice to investigate North Charleston Police Department and shooting death of Walter Scott

The ACLU of South Carolina today joined  the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and over two dozen South Carolina leaders in urging the Department of Justice to open an investigation of the North Charleston Police Department to uncover any pattern or practice of racially discriminatory policing.  The letter also requests that the DOJ open a criminal civil rights investigation into the shoting death of Walter Scott on April 4, 2015.

The letter details examples of alleged use of excessive or lethal force over the past 15 years and offers evidence of racial discrimination in traffic stops conducted by officers of the North Charleston Police Department.

“t’s past time to take a deeper look at how racial bias has permeated our institutions in South Carolina,” said Victoria Middleton, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina.  “Longstanding complaints from the community, capped by Walter Scott’s tragic death, raise questions that can’t be brushed aside.”

Other signers of the letter include Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director Counsel, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Edward Bryant III, President of the North Charleston branch of the NAACP;  members of the South Carolina legislature; faith leaders; representatives of other local civic organizations; and concerned citizens.

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