The Justice Department agreed Tuesday to conduct an independent review of the police department in North Charleston, South Carolina, after last year’s fatal police shooting of a fleeing man.
The mayor and police chief asked the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, to undertake a thorough review of police practices to identify what works and what doesn’t. Their request followed last year’s shooting of Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slager.
Slager faces state murder charges, and last week a federal grand jury charged him with violating Scott’s civil rights.
The COPS review will look at how North Charleston police manage critical incidents and recommend ways to improve policing strategies and engage members of the community.
“Being open to an independent and objective assessment, no matter the results, shows a level of leadership and commitment that we seek from our partners in collaborative reform. The leaders of North Charleston have shown that commitment,” Noble Wray of the COPS office said in a press release.
The review will include interviews, research, and observation of police practices. Once the work is done, the Justice Department will issue a public report on its findings and recommendations.
North Charleston is the 11th city to enter into the collaborative reform process.