In April of this year, Charleston made national news when North Charleston Police Officer, Michael Slager, shot and killed Walter Scott, who was unarmed and running from Slager at the time of the shooting. A bystander famously caught the indecent on video using his cell phone camera.
Today, Scott’s family was awarded $6.5 million by city officials. The family didn’t file a lawsuit in the wake of the shooting, instead they entered into negotiations with the City of North Charleston hoping to reach a settlement. According to the Huffington Post, “The North Charleston City Council approved the settlement by a 10-0 vote, and members of Walter Scott’s family were on hand when it was announced…Anthony Scott said the family plans to donate some of the money from the settlement to disaster relief for victims of the recent floods in South Carolina.”
Charlestonians won’t see this story fading from the headlines anytime soon. Slager is still behind bars and facing criminal charges. The Huffington Post states, “Slager was indicted on a murder charge in June and a judge refused to set bond last month, saying his release would “”constitute an unreasonable danger to the community.””
The national attention prompted a great deal of change in the North Charleston Police department. Since the April shooting, body cameras are now being used. According to the Huffington Post, Mayor Keith Summey also said, “the police department will be working with a division of the Department of Justice that helps local communities resolve issues involving race, color, national origin or gender.”
Today’s settlement is the largest our state has seen for this type of case.