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Do you think that the North Charleston Police Department has taken appropriate steps towards reform a year after the Walter Scott shooting?

 
Relationship Between Solicitor And Cops Prompts Call For A Special Prosecutor In Slager Case
Published:
4/29/2015 5:02:01 PM


Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson
 
“Given the history of the solicitor’s office, there’s no reason to believe Slager would be indicted or convicted under Wilson’s leadership. Given that it’s always business as usual with Wilson, we should have somebody else looking at the case besides those who usually rubber stamp police actions.”       Dot Scott


By Barney Blakeney

 
Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson has time and again proven she will not bring the full weight of the law against police officers and citing a 2014 complaint against her from the S.C. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, several local civil rights organizations want a special prosecutor appointed to the case of North Charleston police officer Michael Slager in the April 4 shooting death of Walter Scott.
 
Leaders of the North Charleston NAACP, the Tricounty Chapter of the National Action Network, People United to Take Back Our Community and the International Longshoremen Association last week issued a press release calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor.
 
“Prosecutors are hired to seek criminal convictions for the city, state or nation. Prosecutors have the power and discretion to determine which charge to bring, to accept or deny a plea bargain and to reward/deny a defendant’s assistance or cooperation. Prosecutors have the authority to  charger a citizen with certain types of crimes determining to some degree a defendant’s final sentence,” the press release outlined.

Further citing that Wilson moved to restrict Black S.C. Appellate Court Justice Donald Beatty from hearing her cases and that Wilson already has said Slager’s case does not warrant the death penalty although he was filmed shooting Scott in the back as Scott ran away, the leaders said, “We need another prosecutor.

“Wilson is too close to city officials police,” the leaders said. “We must monitor and document any and all patterns and practices of the prosecutor to see that transparency is tantamount to good law and order.”

Tricounty NAN President Elder James Johnson said Wilson has in none of the controversial police shootings that have happened on her watch prosecuted the officer involved. “The relationship between the solicitor and police is too close. We need a solicitor from outside the Tricounty area to come in, someone who doesn’t have that relationship. Wilson is not to be trusted,” Johnson said.

He noted a circuit judge from outside the Ninth Judicial Circuit has been appointed to oversee the case. “They should do the same thing with the solicitor. The eyes of the world are watching what we do in this case. I hope we shine a light where other communities have not,” Johnson said. He vowed to begin protests for a special prosecutor in front of the solicitor’s downtown Charleston office on Friday.

Charleston NAACP did not join the other local civil rights organizations in the call for a special prosecutor, but President Dot Scott said she supports the effort.

“Given the history of the solicitor’s office, there’s no reason to believe Slager would be indicted or convicted under Wilson’s leadership. Given that it’s always business as usual with Wilson, we should have somebody else looking at the case besides those who usually rubber stamp police actions,” Scott said. She however admitted concern about whether the request will be honored.
 

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