The federal government has launched a review of the North Charleston Police Department one year after an officer shot and killed an unarmed man during a traffic stop.
The U.S. Department of Justice held a press conference Tuesday at North Charleston City Hall to announce its decision.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey requested the review in April in response to the shooting of Walter Scott by then-North Charleston police officer Michael Slager. Slager has since been charged with murder and several civil rights charges.
The Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Chief Noble Wray said the entire review process will take a little over two years to conduct. The review will include a one-year evaluation and a six-month and 12-month interim assessment of progress.
“There are a series of three reports in total that will be released: the assessment report, the progress report on the findings and recommendations and then a final report,” said Chief Wray. “All made public, all open for scrutiny to the public so that it can watch this process and ensure that accountability is taking place at the local level.”
According to Wray, the COPS Office plans to enlist subject matter experts “that are among the best and brightest in the field of policing today.” The COPS Office will also bring in a technical assistance provider, who will coordinate the review by conducting interviews, compiling information and preparing recommendations for change. Interviews will be conducted with police officers, union officials, command staff, interested citizens and community leaders and advocates.
The city of North Charleston will not be asked to contribute any of its own funds to the assessment.