On Wednesday, June 10th, Governor Nikki Haley stood alongside Walter Scott’s family and inked the landmark body-camera bill into law.
The ceremonial bill signing took place at Park Circle in North Charleston.
The governor explained how Scott’s death helped advance the bill through the South Carolina State House in Columbia.
Anthony Scott, speaking for his brother, Walter, said, “I’m sure my brother is looking down right now and saying ‘good job…good job South Carolina.'”
Walter Scott was shot and killed by North Charleston Police Officer, Michael Slager, back in April.
Feidin Santana captured the shooting on his cellphone. Santana was at the bill signing and said, “When I first made the decision to do this it was to make changes, you know, to make justice.”
At the bill signing, Santana stood with Scott’s family as they watched Governor Haley sign the body camera bill into law.
Judy Scott said, “I just thank God for it, and it’s not just going to help the citizens but the police officers and everyone everywhere. We thank God for this first step.”
“There was one group, that for me, will forever have been special, and that was the Scott family,” said Governor Haley.
The governor praised Scott’s family for their calm under pressure in the heated days after their son was shot and killed.
Since then, lawmakers labored on legislation.
The law requires police agencies to create a policy for which officers will wear the cameras, when they should and should not be recording and how videos are stored.
News 2 asked some of our local agencies what this means for them, and when we can expect all of their officers to be wearing cameras.
Charleston County Sheriff, Al Cannon, said, “Sometime probably after the first of the year. We’ve got some that are in place now that we are testing. We have some on our detention officers at the jail that we’ve had for a little over three years.”
Charleston Police Chief, Greg Mullen, said his officers are already wearing them. “We have 140 cameras right now. We have 42 of them on the street. What we’re doing is we’re rolling them out in small segments because we want to make sure that, as with any new technology, we work out the bugs.”
State representatives say they’re going to honor Feidin Santana for having the courage to film Walter Scott’s death, and to turn the video over to the right people. That ceremony will be at 4:00pm on Thursday, June 11th, at the ILA Longshoreman’s Hall on Morrison Drive in Charleston.