The Latest: Feds to review North Charleston police agency

AP News
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Posted: May 16, 2016 11:19 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the case of a North Charleston police officer who is charged in the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

The U.S. Justice Department is launching an official review of the police department in North Charleston, where a former officer faces state and federal charges in the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says in a release he and other Justice Department officials are announcing a comprehensive review at a news conference Tuesday.

Last month, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey requested a review of the department by the Justice Department's Community-Oriented Policing Services program. Summey says he thinks the department works well but the city is always open to suggestions for improvements.

Michael Slager faces state murder charges in the April 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott. Last week, he pleaded not guilty to federal civil rights charges related to the shooting.

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10 a.m.

A judge has been assigned to hear the federal case against a white police officer who already faces a murder charge in South Carolina in the shooting death of a black motorist.

Court records show the trial of 34-year-old Michael Slager will be heard by U.S. District Judge David Norton in Charleston. No trial date has been set.

An indictment unsealed last week charges Slager with depriving 50-year-old Walter Scott of his civil rights, obstruction of justice and unlawful use of a weapon during commission of a crime.

A bystander's cellphone video captured images of Slager, then a North Charleston officer, firing eight times as Scott ran from an April 2015 traffic stop. Slager was fired shortly after.

The case inflamed a national debate about how white officers treat blacks.