Police Misconduct: What’s going on in South Carolina?

The news has been littered with allegations of police misconduct, excessive force, and discriminatory practices all stemming from South Carolina leaving us with the question, What is going on in South Carolina?

Alternet: New Video Shows SC Cop Gunning Down Unarmed Teen as He Drives Away From Weed Bust

A South Carolina police officer won’t face any charges in the shooting death of an unarmed man during a drug bust.

Prosecutors declined to charge Seneca Police Lt. Mark Tiller in the July 26 shooting death of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond as he attempted to drive away from the officer in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant…. Read more about it here

Alternet: South Carolina Teen Who Filmed School Cop’s Assault Is Arrested for ‘Disturbing Schools’

UPDATE: This has gotten much worse. Niya Kenny, 18, who filmed the now infamous arrest has been arrested herself for “disturbing schools.” She’s out on $1000 bail.

WLTX reports that Kenny was trying to “stand up for her friend” when she filmed the assault, telling Loren Thomas of WLTX, “I was crying, screaming and crying like a baby. I was in disbelief.” Both Kenny and her mother are understandably skeptical as to why she was arrested for “disturbing schools.”

“But looking at the video, who was really disturbing schools?” Kenny’s mother told WLTX. “Was it my daughter or the officer who came into the classroom and did that to the young girl?”…Read more about it here.

NBC: School Body Slam Report Due Weds., Sheriff Says

The investigation into a videotaped incident where a South Carolina school resource officer slammed a high school student sitting at her desk will be completed within 24 hours, authorities said.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters that the department’s internal affairs investigation should be finished by Wednesday, NBC News reported. He said that three videos, including one showing the girl punching Senior Deputy Ben Fields during the confrontation, will play a part in the investigation into whether Fields violated policy in Monday’s incident at Spring Valley High School in Columbia… read the rest of the article and watch the video here.

NYTimes: South Carolina Officer Is Charged With Murder of Walter Scott

WASHINGTON — A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken hisstun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.

The shooting came on the heels of high-profile instances of police officers’ using lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere. The deaths have set off a national debate over whether the police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving black men….. Read more about it here

Alternet: Citizens Forcing Police Accountability Is Working: Killer Cops Prosecuted at Record Rate

A once apathetic society, which had become so unquestioningly content with the status quo, is beginning to wake up. For over a decade, Americans stood by as police killings went largely unchecked. No one to count how many citizens had their lives taken by cops. But the days of unaccountable government killings seem to be numbered as killer cops have awakened a sleeping dragon.

Over the past two years, with Ferguson, Missouri, playing a key role, the American people have realized that some police officers are taking lives at an alarming rate — and they have taken action. Multiple independent sources, fed up with the failure of the federal government to track police killings, have begun tracking these killings independently. The Guardian, and now the Washington Post have been airing the dirty laundry the feds have kept under wraps for so long….read all about it here.

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