CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Earlier Thursday afternoon the National Action Network (NAN) asked Charleston's top prosecutor to step down in the case against the former police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott.
A member of the National Action Network, and The Coalition (People United To Take Back Our Community) made their request public regarding Solicitor Scarlett Wilson today at the Charleston County Courthouse on Broad Street in downtown Charleston.
The group says Wilson is much to close to police in order to conduct a fair trial.
“We think it's about time for true transparency to be readily available,” Pastor Thomas Dixon, co-founder of The Coalition (People United To Take Back Our Community), said. “Not to say that she would have been a part of the cover up at any point in time, but in order to have the appearance of appropriate action, we're asking her to step away.”
They're asking the Attorney General to bring a prosecutor in from outside of the tri-county area.
“The relationship with any solicitor and the police department in Charleston County, Dorchester County, and Berkeley County is too close for her to handle this case,” Elder James Johnson, with NAN, said.
“We want the community to be able to stand with what's going on, as long as we're assured that the playing field is leveled when it comes to the prosecution of former Officer Michael Slager,” Dixon added.
Elder Johnson said a letter will be sent to Solicitor Wilson and the Attorney General regarding this request.
“We have no faith in Scarlett Wilson at all, on our end,” Elder Johnson said. “We don't have any faith in the police department at all, or SLED.”
Solicitor Wilson released the following statement in response to NAN's request. It reads, “My mission is to seek justice in this case through the vigorous enforcement of the law in a reasonable, honest and efficient manner. As always, my goal is to protect the innocent, to hold the guilty accountable, and to preserve the dignity of victims and their families. The people of the Ninth Circuit deserve a prosecutor who is accountable to them. I was elected to serve all of the people in this Circuit and I will continue to do so. Since the outset of this case, my office has worked diligently alongside the Scott family. We are grateful for their continued support and we appreciate their letting us focus on the task at hand.”
Johnson added if Wilson does not step down, the group will plan future demonstrations.
The National Action Network also asked North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, and the police department to put together a reform for a new community citizen review panel.
Johnson said the panel was created in 2006. He said he was one of the members selected, but left about three years ago.
“I was very disappointed in how the panel tried to reform the police department,” Johnson said. “There were hand-picked people who were always listening to what the police chief and the mayor said. Never what the citizens said. The result is what you see with Walter Scott.”
The group wants members of the panel to be elected by citizen, like county officials are elected.
The National Action Network plans to bring this request to the mayor and the police department.