America Responds to Racial Tension

Indicted for homicide: the ex-North Charleston police officer who was filmed shooting 50-year-old African-American Walter Scott in the back in cold blood last April. Scott was killed after having been stopped for just a broken brake light. A grand jury has now officially decided to bring charges against the police officer. He will go on trial and faces a sentence of 30 years to life with no possibility of parole.

The ex-police officer, 33-year-old Michael Slager, has already been fired, is in prison and has become a symbol of the sometimes lethal abuses suffered all too often by the African-American community and by ethnic minorities at the hands of the American police force; a symbol, however, that is now being taken to court. The local prosecutor has made it clear the case will be prepared carefully. A trial cannot resolve the challenge posed by racial tension, police reforms and the relationship between security officers and citizens. Surely, though, the proceedings and their transparency can become a step in the right direction, as the Scott family’s lawyers have made clear.

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