Bills that would make cops in South Carolina wear body cameras had gone nowhere before a North Charleston police officer fatally shot Walter Scott, an unarmed man, on Saturday. Will they be taken up now?
That will be a key question when the General Assembly returns from its holiday break next week. The Senate legislation hasn’t moved out of subcommittee, and its House counterpart hasn’t yet gotten a hearing.
The bills’ backers — Sen. Marlon Kimpson and Rep. Wendell Gilliard, both Charelston Democrats — say the case highlights the impact body cameras could make. “Cameras don’t lie,” Gilliard said.
By all accounts, the emergence of a cellphone video showing an officer shoot Scott in the back was a turning point in the case that led to a murder charge against officer Michael Slager. The warrant for his arrest specifically mentions “video evidence.”
“Without the video ... it would be difficult for us to ascertain exactly what did occur,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said. “We want to thank the young person who came forward ... because it has helped us resolve the issue.”
In other news...
The chairman of embattled South Carolina State University’s board is resigning from the top post, but he’ll stay on as a trustee.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is officially running for president — and for the Senate.
Kansas became the first state to heavily restrict the most common method used in second-trimester abortions. A similar bill has been proposed in South Carolina.
Courting evangelical voters in Columbia, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday God led him to politics.
Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster visited the state Department of Archives and History, an agency his great-uncle helped create.