NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Governor Nikki Haley, alongside members of Walter Scott's family, will sign a bill Wednesday requiring all law enforcement officers in South Carolina to wear body cameras.
The bill signing for S.47, The Body-Worn Cameras Worn By Law Enforcement Bill, will be held at 3:30 p.m. in North Charleston at the Felix C. Davis Community Center in Park Circle. In addition to Scott's family, community and state leaders are also expected to be in attendance.
The bill, which was passed by the General Assembly on June 4, will do the following:
- Amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina by adding a section to define the term "body-worn camera."
- Require all state and local law enforcement officers to implement the use of body-worn cameras.
- Require all state and local law enforcement agencies to submit policies and procedures related to the use of body-worn cameras to the law enforcement training council.
- Establish a "body-worn camera fund."
- Make data recorded by a body-worn camera not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
Despite first being introduced in December 2014, Bill S.47 was fast-tracked following the April 4 shooting death of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer.
Former North Charleston Patrolman First Class Michael Slager, 33, shot and killed Scott shortly after the unarmed 50-year-old fled from a vehicle during a traffic stop along Remount Road, officials say.
Reports state Slager claimed he shot Scott because he feared for his life following a physical altercation between the two.
Video shot by a bystander surfaced in the days following Scott's death. The cell phone video showed Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran from the officer.
Officials say the video evidence led to Slager's arrest and eventual murder charge. A Charleston County Grand Jury indicted Slager on the murder charge on Monday.
Slager, who was fired by the police department, is being held in protective custody at the Charleston County Detention Center.