Tags: US | Police Officer | Fatal Shooting

Prosecutor Says She Will Continue to Handle Scott Case

Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 05:47 PM

 The South Carolina prosecutor handling the trial of a white former police officer charged with killing a black man said Thursday she will remain on the case although activists in North Charleston want her to step aside.

Charleston-area solicitor Scarlett Wilson released a statement saying she will continue to prosecute Michael Slager, charged with murder in the April 4 shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott. The shooting was captured on dramatic cellphone video recorded by a man walking and reignited the national debate over the shooting of blacks by white police officers.

Earlier Thursday, community leaders from North Charleston called on Wilson to step aside.

The Rev. James Johnson of the National Action Network and Thomas Dixon of People United Take Back Our Community told reporters Wilson works too closely with the North Charleston Police Department to ensure a fair trial in the case of Slager.

"This is too important. The eyes of the world are looking," Johnson said during a news conference outside the Charleston County Courthouse. "That relationship Ms. Wilson has with all the police departments around here is too close."

"We think it's time for true transparency," Dixon added. "In order to have the appearance of appropriate action, we're asking her to step away."

The two leaders said they will write Attorney General Alan Wilson asking him to appoint a prosecutor from outside the area to try the case.

But Wilson said she will continue to prosecute Slager.

"My mission is to seek justice in this case through the vigorous enforcement of the law in a reasonable, honest and efficient manner," her statement said.

She added that the people in the judicial circuit comprised of Charleston and Berkeley counties deserve a prosecutor who is accountable to them.

"I was elected to serve all of the people in this circuit and I will continue to do so," the statement said, adding that since the outset of the case she has worked with the Scott family and "we are grateful for their continued support."

Wilson said earlier that the death penalty does not seem to apply in the Slager case because there are no aggravating circumstances such as robbery or kidnapping.

Slager, who is 33, faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

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The South Carolina prosecutor handling the trial of a white former police officer charged with killing a black man said Thursday she will remain on the case although activists in North Charleston want her to step aside.
US, Police Officer, Fatal Shooting
375
2015-47-23
Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 05:47 PM
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